Eldar A. is a 40-year-old married man who lives with his wife and son in the Saatli, province of Azerbaijan. They are a very hard-working family. Eldar is always engaged in farming. His wife does the household work and takes care of their school-aged son. They do their best to give him a good education. Now their son goes to the local school.
The main source of income for the family comes from a cattle-breeding business. After successfully repaying his previous loan, Eldar requested a new loan in amount of 1,500 AZN, which was used to purchase livestock feed and to buy three more cows. Currently, the income of his family has increased to 300 AZN per month.
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.