Alibala P. is a 67-year-old trader who owns his business in Imishli in the the southern region of Azerbaijan. Alibala is married and has four children. He sells vegetables and fruits in the central street of Imishli. He has many clients among local people and he always gives discounts for permanent clients. Alibala has fifteen years of experience in this field and selling brought him and his family good income. But last year it was very hard for Alibala just to keep body and soul together because prices for products rose so much. He has decided to add some products and start selling potatoes and onions, because these products are in top demand. He has applied for 1200 USD for his purpose.
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.