Khasa is a 53-year-old from Imishli. She has 3 children. Khasa has been raising cattle for the past 20 years. She says this is a very difficult job. Taking care of animals is a continuous effort, but her brother is helping her to raise the cattle, fatten them and sell them in the market. Khasa has 5 daughters and believes she must work very hard in order to help with her daughters’ weddings.
Khasa usually buys cattle, raises them, fattens and sells them in the central bazaar. Her monthly income is about 250 AZN. This is the only income source for the family. She plans to expand the business in order to bring more funds into the family. Selling meat is a very profitable business in Azerbaijan, due to its frequent use in everyday meals.
Khasa is applying for a loan of 2,000 AZN in order to buy 4 calves and 2 cows. This is going to be her first loan with Aqroinvest. She believes this loan will have a positive impact on the expansion of her business.
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.