Rasim J. is 51 years old, married, and has two children. He lives in southern Azerbaijani village Alisoltanli, near Saatli region. Rasim opened his small food store in 1996, when he borrowed some money from his friends. In the beginning, the only items he sold were various sweets. The store revenues increased rapidly, and Rasim was able to start selling also cookies, tea and canned products. Even though the store now brings good income to Rasim to cover his family's needs, he would like to expand the variety of goods for sale at the store, and therefore needs a loan of US$1,200 for the purchase of meat and dairy products.
Aqroinvest Credit Union was founded by a group of 32 Imishli farmers in 2001, and has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in Azerbaijan. It boasts a portfolio of nearly $5 million and is wholly owned by its more than 3,500 borrowers, as of December 2011.