Crystal started in 1995 as the local non-governmental organization (CHCA) established by a group of internally displaced persons from Abkhazia. In contrast to almost all significant MFIs in Georgia, Crystal was not a part of an international NGO network, or an entity instituted by donors. ... Read more
Crystal started in 1995 as the local non-governmental organization (CHCA) established by a group of internally displaced persons from Abkhazia. In contrast to almost all significant MFIs in Georgia, Crystal was not a part of an international NGO network, or an entity instituted by donors. Crystal’s establishment and development was fully supported by private contributions from the local individual founders. Only in late 1998 Crystal received first grant funding from donor agencies for implementation of micro-lending activities.
Started in August 1998 with the initial loan capital of $ 10,000 Crystal served just 70 clients in two towns of West Georgia and was fully donor-driven. After 12 years of successful operation in competitive Georgian microfinance market, by October 2011 Crystal manages a gross loan portfolio of $ 11 million and serves more than 10,500 active clients 45% of which are rural. It operates across Georgia through 15 offices in 5 different regions. Crystal is the third largest MFI in Georgia among 55 registered microfinance institutions, holding a market share of 6.2% in the total non-bank financial sector.
Crystal was the first Georgian MFI that received international lending (in 2003) and obtained credit (2003) and social ratings (2010). Crystal is the winner of Smart Campaign’s call for “Plain language loan contract”. The company was also awarded with Certificate of Merit by CGAP for Financial Transparency and has a silver prize from MIX Market for Social Performance reporting.
Crystal offers a wide range of financial services including micro and SME loans, currency exchange services, money transfers, remittances, utility payment services and etc. Loans are disbursed both for start-ups and existing businesses, including agriculture. Volume of the loans varies from $ 100 up to $ 30,000. Monthly interest rate fluctuates from 1.8% to 3%; Loan duration: 4-36 month; No collateral requirement for loans up to $ 5,000.
It is to point out that almost all business activities of the company are conducted mainly in the remote regions of Georgia (Imereti, Samegrelo, Guria, Svaneti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti) where in contrast to the capital, the economical activity is quite limited and level of unemployment, poor infrastructure and social problems are rather actual. Due to the above listed reasons, Head Office of Crystal is located in the region (Kutaisi) as well as more than 90% of Company's loan portfolio is concentrated in these areas.
From October 2011 the company entered into new organizational stage in its history, when JSC MFO Crystal and a microfinance investment vehicle managed by the Developing World Markets Group (DWM) successfully closed an equity investment. The DWM investment vehicle became the largest shareholder of Crystal through a $ 2 million investment in the company’s equity. As a result, JSC MFO Crystal now has both individual and institutional shareholders which will help strengthen the corporate governance and institutional capacity of the company and places Crystal on solid ground for further growth. Hide