Oktay is a 43-year-old man. He is married with one son. He breeds cattle and sells them to local butchers. Oktay has 9 years of experience in this field, thanks to his father who taught him how to look after cattle.
Oktay usually buys small cattle, raises and fattens them in 5-6 months and resells them for a more profitable price at the local livestock bazaar. Meat selling brings an income of 350 AZN per month. People use beef in everyday national dishes such as Pilau and Dolma.
This is only income for his family and is not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Oktay applied for 1500 AZN to purchase four cattle. This will be his third loan with AqroInvest and he has 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.