Shirkhan Q. is a 41 yearold businessman who owns a small farm in the southern part of Azerbaijan in the Bilasuvar region. He sells dairy products to the local people and bazaar traders.He isan internally dislocated person who fled to Bilasuvar from Nagorny Karabakh during the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict in 1993. Shirkhan is married and has four children. He started his business in 2002 when he purchased is first cow and a calf. Animal breeding and his dairy business brought him good income, however last two years the prices for products increased two fold and life in villages is getting harder every year. He has a big family and growing children. Their needs increase every year also. Expenses in his family are great. One way of solving the problem and normalizing the financial side of their life is to expand the business. So Shirkhan has applied for 1200 USD to purchase 4 additional calves and fodder for winter. The estimated cost for calf is 300 USD.
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.