Nazakat is a 32-year-old woman who runs her livestock in the small village in the Imishli regions. She started her business in 2003 when she purchased her first calf. Now her business is going well, and she purchase calves and sells it to the local bazaar traders for meat production. Meat is a very popular product all across Azerbaijan and people use meat in their everyday life. Nazakat married and has one son. Breeding animals is the only one source of income in the family and she needs to expand her business and increase financial resources. She needs 1100 USD to purchase one milk cow for an estimated cost of 700 USD and one calf for an estimated cost of 400 USD.
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.