Mirdamat is a 51-year-old man who is married with six children. Mirdamat has been breeding calves and cows for the last 15 years. After several attempts to find a job he gave up and decided to start his business. With the help of his wife they purchased their first cattle.
Mirdamat usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and then resells for a more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. His monthly income is about 230 AZN, and this business is the only source of financial income in his family. Beef is in very high demand in Azerbaijan, as people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. Sahil also keeps milk cows for personal use and for selling to neighbors.
He wants to expand his business and improve the living conditions of his family. He applied for a 1,000 AZN loan to purchase one calf, one milk cow and fodder. This will be his 2nd loan from AqroInvest CU and he has a good client 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.