Nariman is a 44-year-old man and married with four children. He is an IDP (internally displaced person) and lives in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Nariman has bred cattle and cows for the last 10 years. He is on pension, which is too low to cover family needs.
Nariman usually buys small calves, then raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and resells them at a more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. His monthly income is 100 AZN, and this business is the main source of financial income in his family. Beef is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. Nariman also keeps milk cows for personal use and for selling to neighbors.
He wants to expand his business and improve the life conditions of his family. He has applied for a 1,200 AZN loan to purchase a milk cow, a head of cattle, and fodder. This will be his 2nd 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.