Shakhnaz H. is a 41 year old woman who has sold sheep for more than 20 years. She is married and has four children. She and her husband are unemployed and receive an internally displaced persons benefit, which is approximately 70 USD per month. Shakhnaz started her breeding sheep to supplement her income. As mutton is very popular among Azeris and summer is wedding season, Shakhnaz is requesting a 700 USD loan to purchase a special type of sheep which costs 70 USD each. This type of sheep grows faster and has more meat than usual sheep. She plans on purchasing 10 sheep.
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.