Azad A. is a 50-year-old man who has raised cattle for the last three years. He is married and has four children. He buys cattle for a profitable price, fattens them and sells to the local butchers or takes them once a week to the livestock bazaar. His monthly income is about 300-400 AZN and he is on the way to increase it to 500 AZN.
As soon as he successfully finished his first loan from Kiva he applied for a new one. He promises to pay it back as well as he did the first one.
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.