Mirvari is 48 and married with two children. She has been breeding livestock from a very young age, thanks to her father, who taught her the best practices. She already has 10 years of experience. During these years Mirvari has acquired the knowledge and skills required for the business.
She purchases cows and calves in the central livestock market and raises them. After fattening the animals she resells them for a profitable price in the livestock bazaar. Meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. Fresh milk and yoghurt are also inevitable parts of Azerbaijan life and cuisine.
This business requires a lot of physical strength, and Mirvari spends most of her time in the open air. Her husband helps her to feed the animals. Her monthly income is about 160 AZN, and Mirvari wishes to increase it. As meat is in high demand, she needs more capital to put into her business and cover the market costs. For this purpose she applied for 1,100 AZN. She will use the loan to buy two cattle and one milk cow.
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.