Javanshir is a 47-year-old farmer who lives in a small village in the Imishli region with his wife and three children. He breeds sheep and cattle and has 15 years of experience in this field. During these years, Javanshir has acquired the knowledge and skills required for the business. He purchases lambs and calves in the central livestock market and raises them. Sheep raising takes about 3-4 months and cattle breeding takes 5-6 months. After fattening the animals, he resells them for a profit in the Imishli livestock bazaar. Meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. His business requires a lot of physical strength and Javanshir spends most of his time in the open air. His wife helps him to feed the animals.
Javanshir's monthly income is 300 Azerbaijani manats (AZN) and Javanshir wishes to increase it. As meat is in high demand, Javanshir needs more capital to put into his business to cover the market. For this purpose, he applied for a loan of 1800 AZN. He will use the loan to buy 10 sheep, two cattle and one cow. He has already demonstrated himself to be a good client with a positive credit 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.