Cityscape of Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia
Funding boost for women-led firms in Georgia
Focus on financing businesses outside the capital city
Advisory services, mentoring and trainings to further support women entrepreneurs
With support from the European Union (EU) and Sweden, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is unlocking fresh funds via TBC Bank for Georgian micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) led by women.
A US$ 20 million EBRD loan to one of Georgia’s largest banks will further expand TBC’s lending to women-led firms, with a focus on financing companies outside the capital city, Tbilisi. Borrowers will be able to access funds in Georgian lari or US dollars.
This loan is part of the EBRD’s Women in Business (WiB) programme, supported by the EU and Sweden. The WiB programme aims to boost women’s access to finance and know-how through advisory services, mentoring and training.
TBC Bank first joined the programme back in 2017 with a US$ 20 million loan, which laid the foundation for gender-focused financing at TBC.
The EU is further supporting the loan for women-led firms under its European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) guarantee programme. The EFSD+ financial inclusion programme is designed to empower MSMEs, fostering their competitiveness and growth. By offering strong financial tools and expertise, this programme aims to encourage intermediaries to direct new lending towards those businesses that need it the most.
Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions, said: “Building an inclusive and sustainable economy remains one of the EBRD’s priorities, and women entrepreneurs are an important driver of economic growth in Georgia. With today’s signing, we look forward to seeing more female leaders bringing their business ideas to life, and would like to thank TBC Bank, the European Union and Sweden, for their ongoing partnership.’’
Lawrence Meredith, EU Director for Eastern Neighbourhood and Institution Building, said: “For the first time, a synergy of EU financial instruments and technical assistance – through our EFSD+ guarantees and the Women in Business programme – will play a pivotal role in boosting lending to women-led MSMEs in Georgia. This unique operation consolidates the existing EU support for female entrepreneurship and gender equality in the Eastern Partnership region and allows us to further deliver on our Economic and Investment Plan in Georgia.”
Giorgi Megrelishvili, CFO of TBC Bank, commented: “We are proud to continue our strategic partnership with the EBRD, spanning more than two decades. Throughout this period, TBC has achieved remarkable results in gender financing and this new transaction will be another significant milestone in our successful cooperation. The loan will allow TBC to accelerate financing of women-led businesses, with a special focus on regions, thereby strengthening their competitiveness and contributing to the creation of an inclusive business environment in Georgia. We would like to express our gratitude to the EBRD, the European Union and Sweden for extending this much-needed financing to TBC.”
TBC Bank is a major subsidiary of UK-incorporated TBC Bank Group PLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange’s premium segment and a constituent of the FTSE 250. TBC Bank, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading universal banking group in Georgia, offering a wide range of traditional financial services and innovative digital solutions. It has a strong presence in all major business segments – retail banking, MSME finance and corporate banking.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. The Bank has invested more than €5 billion across 287 projects in the country to date, where it is supporting private-sector development and the transition to a sustainable, green economy.