Sirac A. is a 45-year-old man from Bilasuvar. He lives with his wife and four children who are from 23 to 8 years old. Sirac has three daughters and one son, who actively helps him in his cattle-breeding business. He has been engaged in this line of business since 2002. This is the only source of income for the family.
Sirac is a good client based on his history of repaying his previous loan from AqroInvest. He requested his second loan of 2000 AZN from AqroInvest and Kiva to invest more in his farming. He bought four more cows and thanks to that, the income of his family increased up to 400 AZN per month. Now Sirac has seven cows, but after repaying this loan he would like to take out another loan to buy five 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.