The Consortium approved a $2 million loan to Crystal Fund to help to finance its portfolio growth. The Investment Committee was impressed by Crystal’s excellent portfolio quality as well as the social purpose of the organization. The loan was disbursed in tranches of around $500,000 in order to match the client’s absorption capacity and help it to avoid negative carry. Crystal Fund was spun-off in 2004 as the microfinance arm of the Charity Humanitarian Center Abkhazeti (CHCA).
Crystal’s vision is to build up a transparent, financially stable, professional and client-oriented microfinance institution, which serves the economically active and low-income population of Georgia. The goal of the Fund is to raise economic self-reliance and ensure an optimal balance between financial and social objectives.
Zurab Dzneladze is from the village Partskhanakanebi in the Tskaltubo district of the republic of Georgia. The energetic 67-year old turned to Crystal Fund for a loan to help install a greenhouse on his agricultural smallholding.
Agricultural activity is a traditional occupation for the Dzneladze family, which traditionally has produced agricultural products on open farmland. However, as a result of climate change, harvest volumes decreased significantly causing a fall in the family’s income. The land also suffered, requiring ever-greater amounts of fertilizer.
Dzneladze’s family decided to move to greenhouse management. The new initiative required additional resources that they did not have, because there were three students, one pensioner and one small child in the family.
In December 2000 Dzneladze made a loan application to Crystal. He then successfully passed a four-day business-training course given by Crystal, developed a business plan and was given the loan of the amount of 1,270 GEL (around $750).
With the loan Dzneladze built a greenhouse, in which he produced different herbs such as parsley, coriander and others. As the business expanded, the overall income of the family increased, encouraging them to expand the business even more with the aid of a larger loan.
Over the years the family has diversified its products under cultivation to include tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions and different types of flowers. Dzneladze is now the proud owner of three greenhouses and is still a valued Crystal client. The family can also rely on a stable source of income from the climate-protected greenhouses.
The Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium