Ikram is a 47-year-old married man with three sons. He is a poultry breeder and has 10 years of experience breeding chickens, geese and turkeys. His wife is a school teacher and this business brings a stable financial income to Ikram's family. His son helps him to look after the poultry.
Each poultry has its season. For instance, people in Azerbaijan eat chicken the whole year, while goose meat is very popular in winter, and turkey during spring and autumn. Ikram usually sells poultry in the cental bazaar and his monthly income is 200 AZN.
Ikram applied for 1500 AZN to purchase more poultry to cover demand from his current customers and gain new ones. This will be his second loan and he has a positive 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.