Bahar is a young, entrepreneurial woman. She is 21, married, and a young mother of one son. She finished secondary school, but could not continue her studies. Two years ago, in order to support her family, Bahar and her husband decided to begin their own business activities in cattle breeding. Today they have two milch cows, whose milk Bahar's husband sells in the local bazaar, earning about 150 AZN a month.
Bahar also has a plot of land where she grows potatoes and perennial herbs, which serve as a concentration of forage for her cattle and ensures a high quality of milk yield. She wants to use this loan of 1500 AZN to buy more milch cows in order to increase her sales of milk. Bahar’s young family is learning to overcome difficulties and resolve problems and she is full of energy for the many achievements on her way.
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.