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US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Gazelle Finance launch facility to support war-displaced Ukrainian businesses

Tbilisi, Georgia — DFC and Gazelle Finance announced an Economic Recovery Facility to provide technical assistance to Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) whose operations have been negatively affected by the war. The new facility builds on an existing DFC investment in Gazelle, which provides capital to SMEs in key sectors in the South Caucasus, including Georgia, to spur development. The objective of the new facility is to help Ukrainian companies to ensure the continuity and stability of their activities and to develop an operational link and new markets in the South Caucasus region for their products and services, including the Georgia. The intended result is not only to provide a safe haven for the workers of these enterprises who have already been displaced by war, but to enable these enterprises to continue to develop their activities and to adapt and expand rapidly to new new markets to improve revenue streams, which are badly affected by the war.

“DFC’s Technical Assistance Facility with Gazelle Finance provides direct economic support to displaced Ukrainians in Georgia through private sector investments, particularly for SMEs that already face major barriers to accessing finance. funding,” said Scott Nathan, CEO of DFC. “The facility will help Ukrainian businesses through this difficult period. Over time, the facility will protect jobs and create new market opportunities to grow their businesses. »

Since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine, more than 50,000 Ukrainians have settled in Georgia, many of whom are highly skilled professionals who work remotely for large Ukrainian companies, particularly in the technology sector. Georgia ranks 7th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking and enjoys a very favorable tax regime. This, combined with the information technology cluster that has emerged in the South Caucasus region, including Tbilisi, makes it a natural market for Ukrainian entrepreneurs.

“Gazelle Finance is fortunate to have DFC as an investor in our fund as they are one of the few institutional investors actively supporting private sector investments in the Eurasia region,” said Jeffrey Liebert, CEO of Gazelle Finance. “DFC, together with our other investors FMO and DGGF, were able to respond quickly to this economic crisis that emerged in the region as a result of the war in Ukraine; they recognize that the economic recovery in Ukraine is starting now and that the neighboring countries of the Eastern Partnership will play an essential bridging role in helping Ukrainian SMEs to continue to support their activities.

The partnership between DFC and Gazelle Finance benefits from the long-term support of USAID Georgia, which has also provided grant support to Gazelle Finance portfolio companies in Georgia to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.

On June 21, 2022, a Gazelle Finance portfolio company and beneficiary of DFC funding, Fruit Logistics, held a signing ceremony for the new technical assistance facility. A 100% women-owned business and a leading fresh produce cold storage company, Fruit Logistics is a leader in Tbilisi’s business community and a representative of the partnership between DFC, USAID and Gazelle. DFC and USAID support for Gazelle and the new Technical Assistance Facility announced today demonstrates long-term US support for the Georgian private sector.

About Gazelle Finance

Finance Gazelles is a US-based investment fund management company that invests in high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises in the Eurasia region, currently focusing on Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova. Its mission is to create a better financial future for skilled entrepreneurs and the communities they serve. The company seeks to identify gaps and obstacles in the capital markets and provide a financing solution to responsible, carefully selected entrepreneurs. By focusing on growing their businesses, Gazelle Finance helps local markets and economies grow and generates returns for our investors.

About DFC

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing developing countries today. We invest in all sectors, including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure and technology. DFC also provides financing to small businesses and women entrepreneurs to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC’s investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights and labor rights.

About USAID in Georgia

As the lead development agency of the U.S. government, USAID helps Georgia build its capacity to fund, plan, and implement its own solutions to development challenges. USAID has worked in Georgia since 1992, supporting the country’s transformation into a developing democracy that is increasingly integrated with Western political, security, and economic institutions. More than 35 USAID programs are building Georgia’s resilience to adverse influence, solidifying democratic gains through better citizen-responsive governance, and enabling high-value jobs through increased economic growth. For more information, please visit: