Tezgul is a 46-year-old woman who owns livestock for breeding in the southern village of the Saatli region. She is married and has 5 children. She has more than 10 years experience in animal breeding. She loves her business, because she is certain that she can always sell her products. The reason for her confidence is because meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani people eat meat almost every day. As she and her husband are unemployed, calf sales is the only financial source for her family. Tezgul works very hard to keep her family in good conditions, however, it is very hard when you have a big family and the prices for products increase almost every day. To improve her economic condition, she needs more funds to expand her business. So she decided to apply for a 1200 USD loan to purchase four calves for an estimated cost 300 USD each.
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.