Sakina is 50 years old and married with three children. She is an IDP (internally displaced person) and lives in the Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Sakina has been breeding sheep and cows for the last five years. When she retired, she was left without her daily bread, as her pension is only 60 AZN. She decided to start her business and with the help of her father, who was breeding animals for his entire life, they purchased their first cattle.
Sakina usually buys lambs, raises and fattens them for 3-5 months, and then resells them for a more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. Her monthly income is 250 AZN and this business is only one source of financial income in her family. Mutton is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma. Sakina also keeps milking cows for personal use and for selling to neighbors.
She wants to expand her business and improve the living conditions of her family. She applied for a 1,200 AZN loan to purchase five sheep, one milking cow and fodder. This will be her second loan from AqroInvest CU 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.