Vidadi is a 56-year-old man, married with four children. He breeds cattle and sells the meat to local butchers. Vidadi has more than 10 years of experience in this field, thanks to his father who taught him how to look after cattle.
Vidadi usually buys small cattle, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and resells them for more profitable price at the local livestock bazaar. In addition, meat selling brings in 400 AZN income per month for Vidadi. His brother helps him to graze cattle and look after them. People use beef in everyday national dishes as pilau and dolma and always use yoghurt sauce.
There is only one income in his family and it is not enough to cover the basic needs of his beloved children. Vidadi applied for 1000 AZN to purchase three baby calves. This will be his second loan 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.