Elshan is a 29-year-old, single man. He is an internally displaced person (IDP) and lives in the Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Elshan has bred cattle, sheep, and cows for last eight years. He did not attend university, but instead decided to start his business. He receives 50 AZN monthly in financial support from the government, but this not enough to cover his family’s needs.
Elshan usually buys small calves, raises and fattens them for about five to six months and then resells them for a profit in the livestock bazaar. His brother helps him to look after the cattle. Meat is in very high demand in Azerbaijan and people use it in everyday dishes. Elshan also keeps milk cows for personal use and to sell milk products to neighbors.
Elshan’s monthly income is 100 AZN and the cattle business is his main source of income. He applied for a 1,000 AZN loan to purchase one cow and seven sheep. He wants to expand his business and improve the conditions of his family.
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.