Shovkat A. is married and has two children. She is dedicated to improving her quality of life and does not regret any efforts to achieve this. She has been working for five years raising young cattle. Shovkat built a small stable in her house in order to do this, and her earnings represent her long-term efforts to care for these animals. She is very enthusiastic about continuing to raise animals since this will permit her to improve her living conditions. Shovkat has asked for a loan of 1,000 AZN to purchase young cattle to expand her business.
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.