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.
"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", said Stéphane Froissardey, Regional Director for Türkiye, Caucasus, Balkans, and Central Asia at Proparco.
“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”, said Ilia Revia, Chief Executive Officer at Crystal.
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 SDG 1 "No Poverty", SDG 8 "Economic Growth and Decent Employment" and SDG 10 "Reduced Inequality".