Balashah is 49 years old and has a family of three children and a wife. He raises sheep and sells them for meat. Balashah considers himself a shepherd. He has been doing this business for 15 years and is a very hard-working person. He gives a lot effort in this activity, because he wants to support his family without financial lacking.
Balashah is keeping a flock of sheep in his own yard. He fattens them and takes their meat to the central bazaar, where butchers and customers purchase this. People use mutton for traditional dishes like kababs, dolmas, pilovs, etc.
He has taken loan from Aqroinvest three times and has a good loan history. This is going to be his 4th loan. This time he requires 2000 AZN in order to purchase 15 sheep in order to sell more meat in summer. He is optimistic about this loan, because in summer more people consume meat, due to the holidays and increased customers in restaurants.
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.