Nazila H. is 42 years old and lives with her husband and two children in Bilasuvar. Both of her children attend school. For the past seven years, she has operated a cattle-breeding business, breeding animals and selling dairy products to her neighbors. This business is the primary source of income for the family.
Nazila approached AqroInvest and Kiva to request a loan of 1000 AZN to purchase two dairy cows. Nazila is very thankful, because she believes the profit she will make from this business will allow her to improve her house and living conditions for her family.
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.