Vusala is a 27 year-old woman who is married with three children. She is an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) and lives with her family in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. She breeds sheep and sells them for meat purposes to local butchers and as fur.
Vusala has more than five years of experience in this field, thanks to her father who taught her the best way to look after sheep. Her husband works as a builder and receives 80 AZN salary which is too low to support the family.
Vusala usually buys lambs which she raises and fattens for 4-5 months. She then resells them for a profit in the local livestock bazaar. People use meat in everyday national dishes such as pilau and dolma and always use yogurt sauce. Her monthly income is 100 AZN.
This is main financial income in her family and not enough to cover basic needs of her beloved children. Vusala applied for a loan of 1200 AZN in order to purchase 10 sheep and fodder. This will be her third loan and she 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.