Zeynab is 43 years old, married and the mother of four children. She is an IDP (Internally Displaced Person) who lives in the Bilasuvar IDP Settlement, where she has earned a living for the last six years by breeding cattle. She was a housewife, but her husband is unemployment and she is now the family's sole means of support.
Zeynab usually buys young cows, raises and fattens them for five or six months, and then resells for a profit at the local livestock bazaar. Her monthly income is AZN 300. Demand for her products is strong because meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan, where it is used in everyday dishes such as pilau and dolma. Zeynab also keeps additional cows for milking. Some of this milk is used by her family and some is sold to neighbors.
Zeynab wants to expand her business and improve her family's living conditions. She is requesting a loan for AZN 1,000 to buy one baby calf and one milk cow. This will be her second loan. She has a good credit 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.