Damirali D. is a 55-year-old farmer who keeps a cow and sells milk and yoghurt in a small village of Saatli region. He has more than ten years of experience in this business. He is married and has four children. Dairy products are in high demand all across Azerbaijan. Damirali decided to increase his income and has applied for $1100 USD. With this loan, he is going to purchase two baby calves for $200 USD and two calves for an estimated cost of $300 USD each and fodder for the rest 100 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.