Rasim is 51, married, and has one son. He breeds beef cattle, which he sells for meat, and cows, which he uses for milk and milk products. He has ten years of experience in this field and is a knowledgeable and skilled person.
Rasim usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them, and resells them in the livestock bazaar for meat. Looking after cattle is hard and requires spending a lot of time in the open air. The climate is very severe: it is very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. However, Rasim is not alone in his business - his father helps to pasture and feed the animals.
Meat and milk products are very popular products in Azerbaijan. People drink fresh milk and homemade yoghurt everyday and consider it very healthy. Every national dish contains meat, such as pilau and dolma.
Rasim's monthly profit is 120 AZN. He wishes to expand his business in order to improve life for his family. So, he has applied for a loan of 1,800 AZN. He will use this loan to purchase one dairy cow, two beef cattle, and fodder. This will be his fourth loan and he has a good 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.