Firat is a single, 25 year-old man. He has an elementary school education. He lives with his parents and sister and he breeds cattle for a living. Firat has been in this business for six years. He gets up very early every day to milk the cows and sells dairy in the Bilasuvar bazaar.
Last year, he had a good economic income. Now Firat wants to get married and that is why he needs to expand his business. He is going to use his 1100 AZN loan to purchase three cows. In the future, Firat hopes to buy a bigger farm to support his growing family.
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.