EIB and JSC MFO Crystal support microenterprises in Georgia through new financing operation

EIB and JSC MFO Crystal support microenterprises in Georgia through new financing operation

BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 30

By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a USD loan worth the equivalent of up to 4.1 million euro to JSC MFO Crystal, a leading microfinance company in Georgia, Trend reports via Georgian media outlets.

This operation will fund micro enterprises with fewer than 10 employees. They will receive loans of up to 25,000 euro that are geared towards women, young people and entrepreneurs living in rural areas. The operation is expected to provide around 10,000 entrepreneurs with better access to long-term financing.

The operation will support the priorities of the EU and the Georgian Government, which are aiming to develop the private sector and increase financial inclusion in Georgia. It will contribute to ensuring sustained, inclusive and long-term economic growth, full and productive employment and decent jobs.

This is the second EIB microfinance investment in Georgia following the investment in Credo Bank in November 2017. Both operations fall under the framework of the EU4Business initiative, and they are partially financed by the Neighbourhood Investment Facility of the European Union.

“This microfinance operation will support microbusinesses, representing the most vulnerable segment of the Georgian economy. This type of funding is in high demand not only in Georgia but also in the wider region; it helps entrepreneurs to develop their activities, which ultimately boost the economy and general wellbeing in the country,” said EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudak.

”So far over 30,000 Georgian businesses have benefitted from EU-financed advice, funding or technical assistance, as part of our support to small medium enterprise development. Today's partnership with JSC MFO Crystal aims at assisting an additional 10,000 local entrepreneurs to start and develop their businesses and create additional income and jobs in the country. We wish them every success and remain committed to supporting the private sector in Georgia," said EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell.

“We are delighted to start promising and long-term cooperation with the European Investment Bank. Crystal has signed an important agreement, which aims to reach and support local entrepreneurs and consists of the financing of micro and small enterprises operating in Georgia. In collaboration with the EIB, Crystal will effectively move forward in our mission of becoming a platform for the development of Georgia’s micro-entrepreneurs and farmers,” said Crystal CEO Ilia Revia.

JSC MFO Crystal is a dynamically growing local microfinance organization, supporting development of micro and small business sectors in Georgia.

The mission of Crystal is to support micro entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers in realizing their business potential, reaching financial stability and elevating living standards.

Crystal is seeking for long-term partnerships by offering transparent, innovative and fast financial solutions tailored to the needs of customers, providing them with the financial services critical to their economic success.

Crystal is mainly funded by international financial institutions, such as: FMO, EFSE, EBRD, KfW, Commerzbank, IFAD, responsAbility, MicroVest, DWM, Oikocredit, Incofin, Symbiotics, MCE, Blue Orchard, Triple Jump, FSFS, BIBessen, Grameen Credit Agricole.

Crystal is a first Georgian microfinance institutions receiving international lending in 2003 and also obtaining international credit and social ratings. Crystal was announced as a winner in SMART Campaign’s international call for “Plain language loan contract for clients” (2011). Crystal also received the highest Platinum Award from MIX for its social performance reporting (2012). In 2013 MIX-Market rewarded Crystal with the most prestigious S.T.A.R. status of the industry (S.T.A.R. - Socially Transparent and Responsible).

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Mila61979356

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