Asif A. is a 22-year-old man who breeds poultry in the small village of Imishli. He has four years of experience in this business. He works in the local factory. When he was starting his poultry breeding it was an additional source of income but over the years it became his principal income. Asif sells geese to the local restaurant owners and sometimes to the local people. Asif lives with his parents and tries his best to work and save money for his future wedding. Asif requested 1600 AZN in case to build a place to keep his poultry safe and warm and to buy more geese.
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.