Tahmina is a 37-year-old married woman with three children. She is an IDP and lives in a Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Tahmina has been breeding cattle and cows for the last 12 years. She was a housewife, and her husband is unemployed. Her business helps to cover her family's needs.
Tahmina usually buys small calves, raises them, fattens them for 5-6 months, and sells them at a more profitable price at a livestock bazaar. Her monthly income is 180 AZN, and this business is the only source of income for her family. Meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan, and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. Tahmina also keeps cows for personal use and for selling to neighbors.
She wants to expand her business and improve the living conditions of her family. She applied for a 1,500 AZN loan to purchase two calves, one cow, and fodder. This will be her fourth loan, and she 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.