Sharifa is a 56-year-old woman, married with seven children. She is an internally displaced person (IDP) and lives in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Sharifa has bred cattle for the last 10 years. She was a housewife and her husband's salary was too low to cover the family needs, so Sharifa decided to start her business. She receives 120 AZN in financial support from government monthly, but this is too low to cover the family's needs.
Sharifa usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and then resells fora more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. Her monthly income is 230 AZN and this business is main source of financial income in her family.
Meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes like pilau and dolma.
Sharifa wants to expand her business and improve the life conditions of her family. She applied for a 1500 AZN loan to purchase three cows and fodder.
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.