Ruslan M. is a 33-year-old man who keeps and raises livestock and fodder in the small village near the Saatli region which is situated in the southern part of Azerbaijan. Ruslan is married and has two sons. He started his business in 2007. Although he does not have experience he works very hard. Ruslan started raising fodder for cattle and sells it to the local farmers. With the money he received for the fodder he purchased a calf and he is going to engage in the meat production business. For this purpose he has applied for 900 USD. This amount will help him to purchase three calves, raise them and sell them for meat to the local bazaar traders. The estimated cost for calf is 200-300 USD.
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.