Alibala is a 60-year-old man who is married with two adult children. He is the owner of a barbershop and has 30 years of experience in this field. Given his long years of experience in this business he already has a lot of customers. He says that the secret of his success is his friendliness and professionalism.
His monthly income is 170 AZN and his total income, including his pension, is about 300 AZN. However, this is not enough to cover his family needs and to help his grandchildren. Hence, he would like to increase his income. For this purpose he applied for a loan of 1,500 AZN. He will buy new tools and improve his work conditions to attract new clients. This will be his third loan and he had 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.