Hasan is a 53-year-old man who is married with five children. Hasan has bred cattle for the last 20 years. He and his wife raise and fatten cattle.
Hasan usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for five to six months and then resells them for a more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. His monthly income is 230 AZN. This business is only one source of financial income for the family. Beef is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma.
Hasan wants to expand his business and improve the living conditions of his family. He has applied for a 1,500 AZN loan to purchase two calves, one milk cow and fodder. This will be his third loan, and he has 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.