Luxembourg and Tbilisi, 17 May 2021 – The Green for Growth Fund (GGF), an impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, has joined forces with a new partner in Georgia, Credo Bank, to expand access to green financing for rural micro and small enterprises across the country. A senior loan provided by the fund in Georgian lari equivalent to USD 5 million will be on-lent by the bank to businesses that want to implement energy efficiency and resource efficiency measures, as well as small scale renewable energy projects. By offering this financing in local currency, the partners aim to safeguard these enterprises from exchange rate risk and help them continue to invest in the sustainability of their operations even during the difficult environment imposed by the COVID-19 crisis, contributing to a greener recovery in the country post-pandemic.
Established in 1997 as a microenterprise development program, Credo Bank grew into the largest microfinance institution in Georgia before transitioning into a fully-fledged bank in 2017. Credo Bank has a strong development mission, serving the needs of small businesses as well as low-income households across rural Georgia. With a keen focus on fostering smart farming, the investment will expand access to finance for sustainable measures such as equipment and machinery upgrades by agribusinesses. The resulting energy savings are expected to total around 9,100 MWh each year, preventing over 2,100 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
GGF Chairperson Olaf Zymelka said: “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 a green economic recovery post-COVID-19.”
Chief Executive Officer of Credo Bank Zaal Pirtskhelava, said: “It is with great pleasure that I welcome our new impact investment partner – Green for Growth Fund. This long-term local currency green loan creates access to sustainable finance, promotes smart households and sustainable businesses in rural Georgia. Moreover, financing in local currency protects customers from currency induced credit risk and facilitates investing in energy efficient operations.”
ABOUT THE GGF
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 and Turkey, the European Eastern Neighbourhood Region, and 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.
ABOUT CREDO BANK
Credo Bank is the leading bank on 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.
Media contact GGF
Manager Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 271 035-171
Media contact Credo Bank
Marketing Communications Manager
Phone: +995 599 848 084