Maharram is 49 years old and married with two sons. He has bred cattle and sheep for the last 10 years. During these years, he gained the necessary skills and knowledge for effective management of his business.
He usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and then resells them at a more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. His monthly income is 220 AZN and this business is only one source of financial income in his family. Beef is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. He also sells fur because local people make blanket from it.
Now Maharram would like to buy more animals and for this purpose, he applied for a loan of 1,000 AZN. He will buy one cattle and six sheep. This will be his second loan with AqroInvest and he has a positive 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.