Zarbayim is a 22-year-old married woman with two children. She is engaged in poultry breeding and crop raising. She has two years in both fields. She got married very young, at 18, and it was hard to cover family needs with an unemployed husband. Hence, she decided to start her business. With the help of Aqroinvest, Zarbayim bought chicken. Now it brings her a stable income of 120 AZN.
Poultry is very popular among Azerbaijani people because it is considered very healthy and dietary. Every season poultry is demanded. For instance, goose is popular in autumn and winter, turkey in autumn and spring. Chicken is popular at all time.
She has applied for 1,500 AZN to purchase more chicken and increase her monthly turnover. This will be her second loan and she has 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.