Shafiga is s 46-year-old woman, married, and has 4 children. She is a market vendor and sells different kinds of goods such as cookies, macaroni, ketchup, tea, and candies. She has 15 years of experience in this field which makes her an experienced vendor. Her shop is located in the central bazaar, which makes her business successful, because a lot of people visit the bazaar during the day.
Her monthly income is 120 AZN, which is not enough to cover the needs of her beloved children. Her husband is a builder and his salary is not permanent. To improve their financial situation Shalala decided to improve her business first. She applied for 2000 AZN loan to purchase a variety of food products. This will be her second loan and she has a good loan history.
Aqroinvest Credit Union was founded in 2001 by a group of 32 farmers from Imishli. It has since grown to become the largest credit union in Azerbaijan, owned by its more than 5,400 borrowers and boasting a portfolio of nearly US$12 million.
AqroInvest is focused on providing loans to the following groups of people: rural farmers, people living in distant southern villages with little or no access to finance and internally displaced people and refugees, many of whom lost their homes and livelihoods during the violent conflicts in the 1990s.
In May 2011, Aqroinvest started a new project with Kiva proving higher education loans to students. The project gives students the support and financing they need to continue their education and helps pay for tuition fees at various universities in Azerbaijan. Aqroinvest is the first credit union in the country to offer students loans.