Ilham Q. is 45 years old, married and has three children. His principal work is the buying and selling of cattle. Ilham lives in the small village of Imishli city in the southern part of Azerbaijan.
He purchase baby calves, fattens and raises them and after 5-6 months sells them in the local Imishli livestock bazaar. The business is very profitable, but his lack of capital makes his income insignificant, and living conditions remain difficult in his household.
To strengthen his business, he is asking for a loan of 1200 USD, which will serve to buy more cattle to expand his business. This will allow him to more effectively meet the needs of his household.
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.