Solmaz is a 61-year-old woman on a pension. She is married and has four children. She sells watermelons and melons, as well as seasonal fruits such as pears, oranges, apples, pomegranates and bananas. With the help of AqroInvest CU, Solmaz was able to start her own business. She has 10 years of experience and the reasons to start her business were the low living conditions and low pension.
Fruits are very popular among Azerbaijan people and in high demand during year. People like to eat it fresh and this is one of the main desserts for guests. She sells crops from her house and people that pass by always buy some fresh fruit. Her monthly income from this business is 150 AZN. Solmaz's husband helps her to sell fruit.
Solmaz wants to expand her business. The amount of products she sells is not enough to cover the high demand. She would like to purchase more fruits and vegetables and increase her turnover as well as to improve her family's life. For this purpose she has applied for 1500 AZN loan. This will be her third loan and Solmaz has a good client 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.