Zakir is a 24-year-old single man who lives with his father. He is a farmer who raises fruit trees in his private garden and sells fruit (apples, pears, peaches, cherries, etc.) at the local bazaar. He has worked in this field for four years and his monthly income is 150AZN.
People like eating fresh fruit every day. They buy fruit from Zakir because they know his produce is fresh and grown without pesticides. They know that fruit grown with pesticides is harmful to one's health.
Zakir needs to expand his small business because his income doesn't cover his family’s demands. He applied for a loan of 800AZN to buy fruit tree seeds. This is his second loan and he has a positive 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.