Zahida is a 40-year-old, single woman. She is IDP (internally displaced people) and lives in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Zahida has bred sheep for more than 10 years. She receives 50 AZN monthly financial support from the government, but this is too low to cover family needs.
Zahida usually buys lambs, raises and fattens them for 5-6 months and then resells for a more profitable price in the livestock bazaar. Her brother helps her to look after the cattle and sell them in the bazaar. Her monthly income is 100 AZN and this business is the 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. Zahida wants to expand her business and improve her life conditions. She applied for 900 AZN loan to purchase one baby calf and one milk cow.
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.