Bahruz is a 28-year-old married man with two daughters. He is an IDP (internally displaced person) and lives with his family in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. He breeds sheep for meat and fur purposes and sells them to local butchers. Bahruz has more than 5 years of experience in this field, thanks to his father who taught him the best of how to look after sheep. He receives 90 AZN of financial support from the government monthly, but this is too low to cover family needs.
Bahruz usually buys lambs, raises and fattens them and resells them in 4-5 months at a more profitable price in the local livestock bazaar. His monthly income is 110 AZN. People use meat in everyday national dishes as pilau and dolma and always use yogurt sauce. Mutton is considered as very healthy and is also present in everyday life. Fur is very useful for blankets and bed mattresses made by local woman.
This is the only source of income for his family. Bahruz applied for 1000 AZN to purchase 12 sheep and fodder. This will be his third loan and he has 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.