Qizbas, a 59-year-old married woman, raises fruits and vegetables in her garden. She started this business 15 years ago. She chose this field because fresh fruits and vegetables are very popular in Azerbaijan and people like to eat them and to make fresh juices, which is very healthy.
Her husband sells her crops in the central bazaar. He helps her because raising crops and working in the open air takes a lot of strength and is very hard for a woman.
Qizba's monthly income is 400 AZN. She needs additional capital to invest in seeds and fertilizer. This will allow her to improve the quality of products she raises and to increase her monthly turnover. For this purpose she applied for a 1500 AZN loan.
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.