Samangul is a 34-year-old poultry breeder. She is an internally displaced person (IDP) and lives with her husband and four children in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. She has 5 years of experience in poultry breeding. She breeds goose, chicken and turkey, depending on the season. In winter, goose is the most popular poultry; in spring and autumn turkey is the most popular, and chicken is popular throughout the year. Her business generates a stable income of 140 AZN per month, but this is too low for her big family. She applied for a 1200 AZN loan to purchase more poultry in order to meet market demand and improve life conditions for her family. This will be her second loan from AqroInvest and she has a good client history.
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.