Suleyman V. is a 25-year-old farmer who owns a sheep breeding business in the southern Azerbaijani village of Bilasuvar. Suleyman is an internally displaced person who fled from the Jabrail region to Bilasuvar during the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict in 1993. Suleyman is married and has two children. Suleyman has two years of experience in raising sheep. Mutton is in high demand all across Azerbaijani and people use meat in their everyday cuisine. Life inthe village is very hard, and much harder if you have two baby kids. Sometime orders for purchasing sheep are much higher than Seulyman has in his herd. Selling sheep to the locals and to the Baku (capital of Azerbaijan) bazaar traders is the only source of income for his family. Suleyman has applied for 800 USD to purchase 15 sheep for estimated price 50-60 USD.
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.