Ali M. is a 53 year old farmer who breeds sheep in the small village of Saatli located in the southern part of Azerbaijan. Ali is married and lives with his parents in one house. Ali started his business in 1985. He chose this type of business because it is very beneficial and brings permanent income to his family.
Ali applied for a 1500 USD loan to purchase 15 sheep at the price of 100 USD each.
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.