Rafiq S. is a 58-year-old man who lives in Sabirabad. He is married and has a big family. He is a father to three sons and one daughter. Rafiq receives a monthly pension of 113 AZN. Since that is not enough to support his family, he started his own poultry business 10 years ago. His whole family helps him in his business, especially his son. This loan of 1000 AZN, to buy feed for his chickens and turkeys, is his first with Aqroinvest and Kiva. He plans to grow his business in the future.
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.