Elmira is a 37-year-old woman; she is married with two children. She is a farmer and raises seasonal fruits and vegetables. She has more than 14 years in this field, which makes her an experienced and skilled person. She is the janitor at the local school, and her salary is just too low to cover basic family needs.
Elmira usually sells her crop in the central bazaar. People use fresh vegetables every day and consider them healthy—many national dishes are made of vegetables, such as pilau and dolma. Fresh fruits are served on every family’s table in Azerbaijan. They also use them to make fresh punch.
Elmira’s monthly income is 80 AZN. Raising crops takes a lot of strength and requires working in the open air, which is very hard for a woman, and that why her husband helps her. She needs additional capital to invest in seeds and fertilizers. This will allow her to improve the quality of products she raises and increase monthly turnover. For this purpose, she applied for 1000 AZN.
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.