"Crystal was founded on the belief it could help rebuild Georgia after the country gained independence, and now lends around $100m to small businesses – many of them from marginalised populations." The article briefly describes Crystal's 20 years journey, which started together with Georgia journey after regaining her independence.
Crystal - Georgian MFI, which started from humble beginnings itself – a group of university friends who got together... the company now has 70,000 clients across Georgia and manages a loan portfolio of up to $100m (£71.6m).
“What Georgian SMEs lack is not really money, it’s a spark, motivation, a bit of direction,” says Archil Bakuradze - founder and the Executive Chairman of Crystal “It’s a post-Soviet country and Soviet systems tend to kill initiative. A lot of people in Georgia think like this, and we believe we are changing this with our clients.”
The article underlines the fact that by supporting youth Crystal says YES to minorities, YES to youth – especially to girls in male-dominated communities, and YES to empowering them. "We do it with small financial and mentoring support, with small steps, but towards big dreams."
The feature for the Guardian on Crystal was funded by the UNDP Business Call to Action as a member profile. Crystal is the first company to join from the region.
Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat.
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