Stories tagged with AqroInvest

Feb 2, 2013 AZ Azerbaijan
Dimitri Zakharov | KF20 | Azerbaijan

It’s been 2 weeks since my arrival in Azerbaijan for my Kiva Fellowship and every day I grow more confused. 
Serving in Azerbaijan is a very different experience from the typical Kiva Fellow placement.  The scenes here of the capital, Baku, aren’t the stereotypical poverty we envision in Africa or south Asia.  By World Bank figures, Azerbaijan is wealthier than more than 54% of the world’s countries; amongst Kiva’s portfolio countries (which include the U.S., Israel, and Mexico... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2010 AZ Azerbaijan

Gamarjoba! (“Hello!” in Georgian)

I’m currently in Tbilisi, Georgia renewing my Azerbaijani visa and traveling a bit around the region. Hence the “gamarjoba” instead of what’s becoming a regular “salamu alaykum”.

During training for the Kiva Fellowship I heard it mentioned numerous times that taxi drivers in Central Asia (but specifically in Azerbaijan) were the least demanded loans on Kiva. Their loans took the longest to get funded and expired most often. I was not surprised. After all, “Transportation”, being at the end of the Sector list on Kiva also competes...

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Nov 11, 2010 AZ Azerbaijan

Salam aleych! (the cool way of greeting somebody in Azerbaijan)

On November 8th AqroInvest received new capital from an existing partner, PlaNIS, and an entirely new partnership with Microenterprise. AqroInvest is one of Kiva’s two Field Partners in Azerbaijan. It is important to note that microfinance institutions, such as AqroInvest, depend on new partners and capital for growth. That Monday also happened to be my first day at AqroInvest. At the end of the day the entire staff and I celebrated with champagne and cake, making toasts to AqroInvest’s bright future, and my anticipated...

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May 5, 2008 AZ Azerbaijan

Families in rural Azerbaijan are heavily reliant on farm animals, often just a handful of sheep and a cow, for food and income. Microcredit loans allow enterprising individuals to scale up animal raising activities so that excess milk, cheese, wool, and offspring can be sold for a profit. But where does one go to buy a cow or a half dozen sheep? I learned that once a week as many as 4,000 farmers congregate with their animals to exchange ownership at the Livestock Bazaar. Kiva’s field partner, Aqroinvest arranged for me to meet a client and conduct an interview at...

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Apr 4, 2008 AZ Azerbaijan

The biggest holiday in Azerbaijan is Novruz. This spring event has its roots as a pre-Islam New Year celebration. It officially begins on the spring equinox but the celebration ramps up much earlier with large street bonfires every Tuesday for the month preceding Novruz. Each week represents a different element: earth, water, air, and fire. Much of the community comes out for the bonfires to socialize and listen to music. Tradition calls for fearless youth to jump across the bonfire regardless or how large it is. On one occasion I witnessed a boy run through a fire along a burning pole...

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