Microfinance Organization (MFO) Crystal was awarded the ‘Grand Prix’ at the national contest Meliora, becoming Georgia’s ’Best Responsible Large Company of the Year’. The Responsible Business Award Ceremony took place in Tbilisi on December 13, bringing together 41 companies and 76 projects. The independent jury was comprised of the leading Georgian and international experts from the UK, US, Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Norway and Slovakia.
Crystal is a leading non-banking microfinance organization in Georgia, serving over 100.000 customers through its 62 outlets spread around the country. Crystal’s mission is to contribute towards poverty reduction in Georgia through promoting entrepreneurship in a financially, socially and environmentally sustainable way.
Incofin Investment Management (Incofin), a leading emerging markets impact investment firm, took an equity stake of 38.1% through its agRIF Fund in 2016.
Since agRIF’s entry, Crystal has outperformed expectations both financial and on social impact. From the start, Incofin supported company’s CSR efforts and contributed to the development of social indicator tracking matrix in line with company’s social mission. Crystal became the first financial organisation in Georgia to include the UN SDG goals in its company’s strategy.
The Meliora contest was organized for the first time in Georgia by the Centre for Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG). The organization was supported by the European Union and Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ) within the framework of the EU-funded Georgian Civil Society Sustainability Initiative.
As a leading emerging markets impact investment firm, Incofin has invested (via equity and debt financing) over USD 2.1 billion in 257 microfinance/financial institutions across 53 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.
JSC MFO Crystal (https://ir.crystal.ge) is the leading microfinance institution in Georgia, acting as a platform for development for micro-entrepreneurs and farmers, providing them with innovative financial and technology solutions as well as non-financial services tailored to their needs. The company has USD 100 million in total assets, +1000 employees, 62 regional branches and serves more than 95.000 unique clients accross Georgia. Most customers live in rural areas (68%) and over 50% of the clients are female.
Georgia’s Responsible Business Awards “Meliora” is a nation-wide effort to promote and strengthen the CSR commitment among businesses; attract attention to excellent examples of CSR projects; encourage and motivate companies to adopt best practices and become role models for others; and finally to demonstrate that a responsible business, aiming to be a force for good, by creating healthy communities and a healthy environment, achieves long-term financial value and commercial success as a result.
Incofin Investment Management (www.incofin.com) is a global independent impact investment firm, focused on rural and agricultural finance, driven by a desire to promote inclusive progress. It is an AIFM licensed fund manager and has over USD 1 billion in assets under management. Incofin has a team of more than 50 professionals spread over the headquarters in Belgium and local investment teams in India, Colombia, Kenya and Cambodia.
Incofin currently manages the following funds:
- Rural Impulse Fund II (closed-end fund) invests in microfinance institutions that offer financial services in disadvantaged rural areas through debt and equity investments. RIF II focuses on investments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- agRIF is a third generation (closed-end) fund, making equity investments in financial inclusion for the rural sector (smallholder farmers and rural micro-entrepreneurs). agRIF also provides debt investments in agricultural SMEs and agricultural focused financial intermediaries.
- The Fairtrade Access Fund (evergreen fund) contributes to the development of a fair and sustainable agriculture sector by providing working capital and long term financing for small holder farmers. This evergreen fund is open to investors for commitments.
- Incofin CVSO (evergreen co-operative) specialises in debt and equity investments in the impact investments universe. It is a cooperative fund and open to retail investors.