Fikrat is 46 years old, married, and has one child. His wife is a housekeeper. Fikrat has a business trading doors and windows in his city. His business is very popular, because everybody knows him as a master professional. His son helps him in this business. After making doors and windows, he sells them in the bazaar. His profit from this business is 200 AZN monthly. He has 10 years’ experience in this business. There are many wooden houses in his town. Besides this, people need wood to heat their houses, and he also sells wood for this purpose. There is a big demand for his products, windows and doors made of wood. He does not have enough funds for materials and, for this reason, he has applied for a 1,900 AZN loan. He has a good loan history, and this is his third loan.
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.