Sahil is a 28-year-old man, who is married and has three children. He is an internally displaced person (IDP) and lives in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Sahil has bred cattle and cows for the last three years. After several attempts to find a job, he gave up and decided to start his own business. With the help of his wife, he purchased his first cattle.
Sahil usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months, and then resells them for a profit in the livestock bazaar. His monthly income is 200 AZN and this business is only one source of income for his family. Beef is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. Sahil also keeps milking cows for personal use and for selling to neighbors.
Sahil wants to expand his business and improve living conditions for his family. He applied for a loan of 1,000 AZN to purchase one milking cow, two calves, and fodder. This will be his fourth loan from AqroInvest CU and he 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.