Azer is a 37-year-old man who has been engaged in livestock breeding for the last six years. He buys calves, raises and fattens them, and then resells grown cattle in the central Bilasuvar bazaar. His monthly profit is about $150 and he wishes to increase it to $300. He would like to purchase more livestock, and for this purpose, he needs a 1,000 Azerbaijani New Manat (AZN) loan. Azer promises to pay it back in an accurate manner.
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.