Zeynab, 41, is a widow who sells fruits, such as pears, oranges, apples, pomegranates and bananas. She started a private business when her husband passed away and she was left alone with two children. Zeynab has five years of experience in this field and has gained the necessary skills and knowledge required for her business.
Fruits are very popular among Azerbaijan people and in high demand during the year. People like to eat fresh fruit and this is one of the main desserts served to guests. As Zeynab's shop is located in the central bazaar, people always pass it and come to buy fresh fruit. Her monthly income from this business is 300 Azerbaijani manats (AZN). Her father helps her to sell the fruit.
Zeynab wants to expand her business as her amount of products is not enough to cover the high demand. She would like to purchase more fruits and vegetables and increase her turnover, thus improving her family's lives. For this purpose, she has applied for a 1,500 AZN loan. This will be her second loan and she has a good client history.
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.