Credo Bank attracted GEL 51 million from the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) and the Green for Growth Fund (GGF). The two long-term local currency investments aim to support rural micro and small entrepreneurs in Georgia. The transactions were led by the advisor to EFSE and the GGF, impact asset manager Finance in Motion.
GEL 34 million provided by EFSE aims to support income generation and business growth, especially against the headwinds of the coronavirus pandemic. The big share of investment came from the generous contributions of the European Commission (EU4Business initiative) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Whereas, GEL 17 million from GGF targets to expand access to green financing across the country to implement energy and resource efficiency measures, therefore, contributing to post-pandemic greener recovery.
“We are pleased to restart partnership with the European Fund for Southeast Europe and welcome our new impact investment partner – Green for Growth Fund. EFSE’s long-term local currency loan will be directed to finance activities of farmers during the current peak agriculture season, it will significantly mitigate currency-induced credit risk for our customers and contribute towards strengthening of national agriculture sector during the pandemic. Moreover, with GFF proceeds Credo Bank will create access to green finance, promote smart households and sustainable businesses in rural Georgia.” –said, Chief Executive Officer of Credo Bank Zaza Pirtskhelava.
EFSE Board Chairperson Klaus Müller said: “Micro and small enterprises – particularly farmers – account for two-thirds of employment and income generation in the rural areas of Georgia. Their financial health is thus directly correlated with the robustness of the economy as a whole. As an impact investment fund that prioritizes financial inclusion for entrepreneurs, EFSE is pleased to be working together with Credo Bank to ensure that small business owners have access to the resources they need to sustain operations – without the worry of exchange rate risk.”
“The GGF is delighted to form this new partnership with Credo Bank. The institution’s extensive knowledge in providing financing to rural and agricultural market segments makes them an ideal partner for the GGF, as they are equipped with the network and expertise to create tangible green impact. What is more, by facilitating lending in local currency, we are protecting businesses and households from exchange rate risks while contributing to post-COVID-19 green economic recovery.” – said, GGF Chairman Olaf Zymelka.
Credo Bank is the leading bank in the Georgian microfinance market in terms of countrywide presence and the number of clients. It operates 75 service centers and supports more than 335,000 customers across Georgia. The bank’s mission is to provide sustainable financial services to micro, small and medium businesses, with a preference for rural activities and those businesses that create income and employment opportunities. Credo Bank is owned by a consortium of international shareholders, the social impact investors – Access Microfinance Holding AG, ResponsAbility Investment Management AG, and Triodos Investment Management BV.
An impact investment fund established in 2005, the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Neighbourhood Region by investing in the success of micro and small enterprises as well as improved living conditions for private households. As the access to financial services is key to developing this segment, EFSE focuses on helping local financial sectors strengthen their ability to provide responsible financing for this target group. Alongside its investment activities through local partners, EFSE multiplies its impact through the EFSE Development Facility, which provides technical assistance, training, and other non-financial support to entrepreneurs and institutions.
EFSE was initiated by KfW Development Bank with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission. As the first public-private partnership of its kind, EFSE draws its capital from donor agencies, international financial institutions, and private institutional investors.
Finance in Motion GmbH, Germany, serves as EFSE’s advisor, and Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A., Luxembourg, acts as manager.
The Green for Growth Fund invests in measures designed to cut energy use and CO2 emissions, and improve resource efficiency in 19 markets across Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine, Moldova, the Middle East, and North Africa. The fund provides such financing directly to renewable energy projects, corporates, and municipalities or indirectly via selected financial institutions. The GGF’s Technical Assistance Facility maximizes the fund’s investment impact through support for capacity building at local financial institutions and partners.
The GGF was initiated as a public-private partnership in December 2009 by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, with financial support from the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB). The fund’s growing investor base comprises donor agencies, international financial institutions, and institutional private investors, including the International Finance Corporation, the Dutch development bank FMO, and the German ethical bank GLS. The GGF is advised by Finance in Motion GmbH. MACS Energy & Water GmbH, Frankfurt am Main acts as the technical advisor. For more information see www.ggf.lu and follow us on Twitter @GreenGrowthFundდატოვე კომენტარი