Elmira is a 53-year-old, hardworking, married woman. She lives in Sabirabad with her husband and four children. All of them are adults. Elmira and her husband have been engaged in cattle breeding for more than twenty years. This business is the only source of income for her family. She buys a calf, looks after it for two-three months, and sells it in the local market. This is her first loan from Aqroinvest and Kiva.
Elmira requested a loan in the amount of 1000 AZN to purchase several head of cattle. She will invest the earnings from the loan into a continued development of her business.
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.