Ramiz A. is a 33-year-old man from Bilasuvar. He is married and the loving father of two children. After the birth of his daughter, Ceyran, and his son, Nusrat, life became harder for the young family.
Ramiz decided to start a cattle-breeding business. His wife does household chores and also helps him in the business. He has been doing this business for about four years and now his normal monthly income is around 300 AZN. Ramiz sells dairy in the local bazaar.
There were two cows in his farm but diligent Ramiz didn't want to stop there. That is why he requested a loan of 1800 AZN from AqroInvest and Kiva to buy four more cows. This is his first loan. Ramiz dreams of buying a piece of land for a larger farm.
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.