Tbilisi (GBC) - International Fundraising As a systemically important bank in Georgia, building an inclusive and sustainable economy remains the top priority for TBC. In 2023, the Bank continued to pursue its strategic goal of focusing its business activities on the country’s inclusive economic growth and sustainable development. In line with its ESG goals, TBC’s funding strategy was built on four key priority areas: climate financing, supporting women entrepreneurs, startups and youth, and regional MSMEs. Over the course of 2023, the Bank mobilized a wide range of long-term, high-impact financial resources in the amount of up to GEL 941.2 million, compared to GEL 1.3 billion in 2022.

Eligible projects aim to improve access to finance for female and young entrepreneurs, MSMEs and start-ups, as well as to promote green investments in Georgia. TBC has always been avid supporter of the MSME segment, assisting through the provision of both financial and non-financial support, including facilitating access to capital, sharing knowledge and expertise, and developing loan products customised to the needs of individual businesses. The Bank acknowledges that sustainable development of MSME segment is critical, as they are the backbone of the Georgian economy, serving as its biggest employers, job creators and contributors to GDP. To ensure uninterrupted financing of MSMEs, in 2023 the Bank mobilised financial resources of more than GEL 242 mln from its long-standing partner financial institutions, supporting local MSMEs to expand their business activities and hire more employees.

For instance, in cooperation with EIB, the Bank mobilised a loan portfolio guarantee programme in the amount of GEL 89.3 mln, with a special focus on regional entities, start-ups, and young and female entrepreneurs. The portfolio guarantee, with an 80% first loss risk sharing component, enhances TBC’s financing and risk-taking capacity and enables the Bank to finance underserved target groups. The guarantee program will be implemented in 2024 and will strengthen the competitiveness of local businesses, further contributing to the economic growth and job creation in Georgia. Green Lending Development remains one of the key pillars of the Bank’s ESG strategy. To intensify efforts towards green financing, TBC has successfully collaborated with partner organisations in 2023 and attracted green facilities of up to GEL 663 million (GEL 108 million in 2022). Mobilised green funds enable TBC to continue financing energy efficient, renewable energy and resource efficient projects and support customers in their sustainable transformation; Moreover, those green facilities are coupled with the technical assistance programmes, which provided support from energy-efficiency experts and consultants, who assisted TBC Bank in identifying green investment opportunities, assessing the technical potential of eligible investments, and cooperating directly with customers to help them with the green investment implementation process. In 2023, TBC also became the first EBRD partner bank in the region to commit to develop a Paris alignment transition plan and commit to progressively align TBC’s business practices with the Paris Agreement goal. TBC has always promoted female entrepreneurship and female participation in the economy through the provision of dedicated financial programmes. TBC believes that creating equal opportunities for women in business is not only a question of gender equality, but also an economic priority, as women entrepreneurs play a significant role in job creation and economic growth. TBC has renewed its commitment to supporting gender finance by attracting up to GEL 215.2 million (increased from GEL 54 million in 2022) in funds specifically for female borrowers, including loans from its long-term partners, EIB, PROPARCO and EBRD; EBRD program “Women in Business” (WIB) represents package of financing and portfolio guarantee, which enables TBC to further enhance financing to those borrowers, whose borrowing capacity might be hindered by shortage of collateral. Moreover, the program also contains a complementary advisory service framework that provides women-owned entities with mentoring, training, and networking opportunities that can help them transform and grow their businesses. An additional amount of gender-focused financial resources of up to GEL 161.36 million, which were provided by EIB and PROPARCO, are based on the 2X Challenge investment criteria, which are a global baseline standard for gender finance. These funds enable TBC Bank to finance not only women-owned and women-led businesses but also a wider spectrum of investments that support gender equality. Examples include businesses that provide products and services designed for women’s specific needs, companies that have a majority of women beneficiaries, and businesses that advance women in the workforce, with up to 50% share of women in staff composition and one “quality” indicator in place, such as policies and programmes that promote gender equality. The Bank’s funding strategy and successful collaboration with partner financial institutions have further reaffirmed TBC’s leadership position in the Georgian banking sector for green and sustainable lending and positively contributed.