Teyfa is a 34-year-old woman. She is divorced and raising two children. She is an IDP and lives with her family in a Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. She breeds cows and calves and then sells the milk and milk products, as well as cattle meat to the local butchers. She also raises sheep for meat. Teyfa has more than 10 years of experience in this field, thanks to her father, who taught her the best way to look after cattle.
Teyfa usually buys calves, raises them, and fattens them. After 5-6 months, she sells them for a more profitable price at a local livestock bazaar. She sells milk and yoghurt to her neighbors. Selling the milk and meat brings in 220 AZN per month. Milk and yoghurt, as well as beef and mutton, are very popular products in Azerbaijan. People use meat in everyday national dishes like pilau and dolmas, and they always use a yoghurt-based sauce. Milk products are considered to be very healthy and are also present in everyday life. Her brother helps her to run the business.
This is the only source of income for her family, and it is not enough to cover the basic needs of her beloved children. Teyfa applied for a 1,000 AZN loan to purchase one calf and one cow. This will be her second 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.