Afqan is 45 years old and married man. He is an Internally Displaced Person (IDP). He has two sons and one daughter. Afqan's wife is a housekeeper. He has been raising cattle for the last 15 years. He says this is a very difficult job. Taking care of animals is a continuous effort. Afqan usually buys cattle, raises them, fattens them and sells them in the central bazaar. His monthly income is 80 Azerbaijani manats (AZN). This is the only source of financial income for the family.
Afqan plans to expand the business in order to bring more funds into the family. Selling meat is a very profitable business in Azerbaijan due to its large use every day. Afqan is applying for a loan of 2000 AZN in order to buy more calves. He believes this loan will have a positive impact on the expansion of his business. This is his fourth loan and he has a very 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.