Samir A. keeps two cows and this is the only financial source for this family. He has been running his business since 2008 and sells milk products to the local milk farm, and there is also a high demand for this product among the local people. Samir is married and has two sons. He usually buys small calves for a good price, fattens, and then sells them at the Livestock Bazaar in Imishli city (1 hour away from his home city) once every 6 months. Now he has applied for a 1500 AZN loan to purchase two more cows.
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.