Khafiz is 55 years old. He is married and has three children. He is the sole breadwinner for his family, and his only income comes from raising and selling large livestock at the local market. Every six to eight months, he buys baby calves from farms in villages. He raises them with the help of his wife and then sells the grown cattle to local butchers. His monthly income from the business is about 450 USD.
Khafiz is thinking about expanding his business because the income from his present number of cattle is not sufficient to provide for his family. He plans to purchase more young cattle. To do so, he needs to invest an additional 1800 Azerbaijani New Manat (AZN) in his business. This will be the fifth loan from AqroInvest to Khafiz, and he has a good credit history.
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.