Elshad is a 43-year-old man, married with two children. He keeps a café and serves people with launch and dinner in his café. He has eight years of experience. He decided to start his own business because his income as foreman was not stable and was very low. Now he runs his business and serves people with daily meals in his café.
People in Azerbaijan like to have launch in national style cafes and eat national food, as well as spend time with friends in the evening drinking tea with homemade jam. Elshad's place don’t look very attractive, but his food is delicious and that’s why his café is full of people. His older son helps him and cooks in his café.
His monthly income is 200 AZN and he would like to increase it. For this purpose he applied for a loan of 1,500 AZN. He will use this loan to renovate his café. This will be his third loan and he has a good client 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.