Crystal Receives New Funding for SMEs from the European Investment Bank

Under the agreement between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Crystal, the leading non-bank financial institution, the latter will be funded 4.1 million Euros. The purpose of the deal is to finance micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 employees. Loans of up to €25,000 will be allocated to serve the needs of women, youth and rural entrepreneurs. As a consequence of this move, long-term financing will become available to about 10,000 entrepreneurs.

On October 30, the signing ceremony at the Crystal office was attended by Koba Gvenetadze, the President of the National Bank; Vasil Hudak, the Vice President of the EIB; and Carl Hartzell, the EU Ambassador to Georgia.

“The purpose of the funding is to support micro business - the most vulnerable segment of the Georgian economy. This type of funding is widely in-demand throughout the region as a means of assisting the advancement of new enterprises. The ultimate aim is to boost the economy and the overall well-being of the country,” said Vasil Hudak, the Vice President of EIB.

As emphasized by Carl Hartzel, the EU Ambassador to Georgia, “as of today, over 30,000 businesses have benefited from EU funding and technical assistance under the SME Development Program. The partnership with Crystal aims to support an additional 10,000 local entrepreneurs both in developing existing businesses and in launching new ones. As a result, more people will be employed and new sources of income will emerge. We wish Crystal good luck and are ready to support the private sector in Georgia.”

“We are pleased to have reached long-term partnership with the European Investment Bank. Crystal has signed a major agreement aimed at supporting local entrepreneurs and financing micro enterprises operating in Georgia. In collaboration with the EIB, we will endeavor to advance the company’s mission to become a platform for the development of Georgia's micro-entrepreneurs and farmers,” notes Ilya Revia, the CEO of Crystal.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is an EU bank. It is the EU's long-term lending institution and is the only bank that owns and represents the interests of EU member states. It also allocates long-term funding for sustainable investment and adheres to the EU goals.

Although more than 90% of the EIB's activities are focused on Europe, the bank also supports the implementation of EU foreign and development policy.

The EIB Group has set as its aim to support the economic development in the countries that have signed the Association Agreement with the European Union - Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in particular. EIB will provide financial and technical assistance to SMEs in developing countries.

EU4Business is an EU initiative aimed at promoting the development of SMEs in all six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and ensuring their economic growth. Together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), involved in the implementation of the EU4Business initiative are outside organizations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. All EU initiatives to support SMEs in Eastern Partnership countries are part of EU4Business.

JSC MFO Crystal (“Crystal”) is the leading financial inclusion organisation and the largest (by assets) non-banking financial institution in Georgia. It manages a loan portfolio of GEL 270 million, employing more than 1,000 members of staff, operating through 51 branches and serving more than 100,000 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 tailored to their needs. Crystal is the first Fitch-rated non-banking financial institution in the region with a rating of ‘B’ stable outlook. In December 2018, Crystal received the nation’s responsible business award, “Meliora 2018”.

04 November 2019 17:16