Elman N. is 38 years old, married and has three children. From the time he was young, Elman was learning to work in the small business of cattle breeding. After he married, he continued working in the same business, watching the business grow as a result of his sacrifices, and seeing his family progressing more and more. He sells cattle in the livestock bazaar once every two months. His hope is to continue growing and improving his business to offer a better future for his children. Elman is asking for a loan of 1,000 AZN, which will allow him to buy additional livestock.
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.