The business activity from which Ilyas A. makes a living is the breeding of livestock. He started this business 9 years ago with a small number of livestock. As his business has developed, he has acquired greater quantities of animals for their eventual sale and he has gained from their derivatives.
According to Ilyas, he works very hard so that he can take care of his children and his profit is 350-500 AZN. For that reason, he is always looking for a way to improve his family's living conditions. Currently, he needs a loan of 1000 AZN in order to purchase more cattle to later resell, after breeding them. This will allow him to fully meet the needs of his family.
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.