Arastun K. lives in the Imishli district. He is a 30-year-old married man who has one son and one daughter, ages 5 and 2. Arastun has been engaged in a cattle-breeding business for over 4 years. In the past he was the main helper of his father, who is a farmer. Arastun was married in 2004 and decided to start his own business at that time.
He requested a loan in the amount of 2,000 AZN to purchase three more cows to raise and sell. This is his first loan through AqroInvest and Kiva. Arastun is very thankful because the income from this loan allowed him to increase the monthly income of his family up to 300 AZN. He plans to purchase at least ten more dairy cows in the next three years.
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.