Proparco has granted a USD 10 million financing to the Georgian microfinance institution JSC MFO CRYSTAL (“Crystal”), to support the development of its loan portfolio. Crystal is the leading microfinance institution in the country and operates mainly in rural areas, targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the agricultural sector. This facility will be guaranteed by the European Union’s EFSD COVID program, launched to support businesses impacted by the pandemic crisis.
Crystal started its microcredit activities in 1998, as an NGO serving vulnerable, internally displaced populations. Now a non-banking microfinance institution, Crystal has remained committed to its social mission: its core business remains the provision of microloans to rural Georgian populations (58% of its portfolio), with most of its activity concentrated in the West of the country. The institution is also committed to supporting the growth of women entrepreneurs.
This line of credit (USD 10 million) granted by Proparco will be guaranteed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). More specifically, this loan will be guaranteed by the EFSD “Emergency Covid Response” component of the EU, which supports small businesses affected by the crisis through financing provided by local institutions.
Stéphane Froissardey, Regional Director for Türkiye, Caucasus, Balkans, and Central Asia at Proparco, commented: “We are pleased to extend our partnership with Crystal, a prominent microfinance institution in Georgia. Crystal operates mainly in rural areas, and with this new transaction, which strengthens and cements our cooperation, Crystal will further grow its portfolio of microloans – at a time when MSME and agricultural sectors are suffering from the spillovers of the war in Ukraine”.
Ilia Revia, Chief Executive Officer of Crystal, commented: “Strengthening partnership with a reputable DFI, such as Proparco is a major opportunity to facilitate future growth of MSMEs in Georgia. Dedicated facility will bolster further support to small and medium businesses, allowing their growth and contribution to local economies”.
The project is expected to generate positive employment and financial inclusion impacts for Georgia’s microentrepreneurs:
– Maintaining or creating 90 direct jobs and supporting 2,000 indirect jobs within 5 years;
– Granting more than 4,600 additional microcredits and support over 300 MSMEs.
The project will contribute to MDG 1 “No Poverty”, MDG 8 “Economic Growth and Decent Employment” and MDG 10 “Reduced Inequality”.
Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement Group, has been working with the private sector for over 45 years for a more just and sustainable world. With an international network of 23 local offices, Proparco works closely with its partners to build sustainable solutions in response to environmental and social challenges in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Proparco benefits from sector-based expertise as well as a wide range of financial solutions tailored to the different stages of business development, notably thanks to its Digital Africa subsidiary, and its Propulse technical assistance offering designed to scale up the impacts and performance of its partners.
Proparco’s new “Acting together for greater impact” Strategy 2023-2027 enables, strengthens and amplifies the different ways in which it works with its partners. To learn more: http://www.proparco.fr/en/strategy.
Floriane Balac – firstname.lastname@example.org
JSC MFO Crystal is the leading financial inclusion organization and the largest by assets non-banking financial institution in Georgia. It manages the loan portfolio of GEL 400 million, employing more than 1,000 members of staff, operating through 50 branches and serving more than 125,000 unique customers across Georgia. Crystal acts as a platform for economic development providing micro and small entrepreneurs and farmers with innovative financial products and services. Crystal is the first Fitch-rated non-banking financial institution in the region. In December 2018, Crystal received nation’s responsible business award “Meliora“.
For more information, please visit: https://ir.crystal.ge/