Araz is 42, married, and has two children. He has been breeding livestock from a very young age. Thanks to his father, who taught him the best, he already has ten years of experience. During these years, Araz has acquired the knowledge and skills required for the business.
He purchase lambs and calves in the central livestock market and raises them. After fattening the animals, he resells them for a profitable price in the 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, as Araz spends most of his time in the open air. His wife helps him to feed the animals.
His monthly income is 140 AZN and Araz wishes to increase it. As meat is in high demand, he needs more capital to put into his business and cover the market. For this purpose, he applied for 1,000 AZN. He will use the loan to buy two cattle and fodder.
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.