Tofiq is a 42-year-old man. He is married with three children. He is a butcher and owns a butcher shop. He has 10 years of experience in this field. He has one assistant and rents this shop to sell meat. He usually sells beef and mutton, but sometimes chicken. He starts his business at 6 a.m. to buy cattle and sheep in the central livestock bazaar, and then he prepares the meat for sale.
Fresh meat is very popular in Azerbaijan, and people use it in everyday dishes. Many famous dishes, like dolma and pilav, are made of meat. His business is flourishing, and his monthly income is 400 AZN. He says that the key to success is to follow the needs of your customers and provide them with the best service and best meat pieces to keep them satisfied.
The main challenge in his business is that there is not enough fresh meat to meet the demands of his customers. He applied for 2,000 AZN to improve the situation and increase his profit.
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.