Rovshem N. is 42-year-old man who lives with his two children in the southern part of Azerbaijan Imshli region. He has been running his business since 2003. He has one cow, which brings him income from milk and yogurt. The milk products are in high demand all across Azerbaijan and Rovshem is planning on expanding his business and purchase two additional cows. The estimated cost for one cow is 700-800 USD. Therefore, he is applying for a loan of 1200 USD and has saved 200 USD from his income to pay for these.
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.