Natiq B., 27, is a young and very successful businessman. He breeds cattle and sells them in the local bazaar. This is his primary business, but Natiq also works in the fire brigade. Although he went to work every day, his salary wasn’t enough to cover his family's basic needs, and so Natiq started cattle breeding in 2009. Usually he buys small calves, fattens and raises them, and after several months sells them in the livestock bazaar. Natiq would like to purchase two cattle and fodder, which will allow him to increase his profit and improve life for his wife and son.
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.