Musruf C., 46, is a farmer who has a small herd of sheep. He has 40 sheep and runs this business for the last four years. The business is very profitable and generates a stable income for his family. Musruf is married and has four children. Sheep breeding is the only financial source for his family. He is not alone in his business, as his brother also helps him in looking after the animals. He sells sheep to the local butchers or as meat. The mutton is very popular among Azerbaijani people and Musruf is going to expand his business and purchase more sheep. For this purpose, he applied for a 1,000 AZN loan to buy 20 sheep.
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.