Vuqar S. is a 39-year-old man who has been breeding sheep for the last 12 years. He is married and has four children.
Vuqar sells sheep in the livestock bazaar and to the local butchers. His monthly income is 250 Azerbaijani New Manat (AZN). He would like to increase his profit and improve the life of his family. For this purpose, he applied for a loan of 1000 AZN and will use it to purchase six sheep and one calf.
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.