Afras A. has a great passion for breeding sheep and has been in this business for thirteen years. He is 36 years old and married, with two children. Afras would like to expand his business by adding more sheep to his herd. This is because he recently acquired out-of-town orders to supply mutton. Afras is requesting a loan of 1,600 AZN in order to buy twelve sheep and fodder. With additional income, Afras will be better able to meet his family's financial needs and especially to provide for the education of his children.
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.