Double the impact in Georgia
Positive prospects at the start of 2024 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Actio, the first impact fund of its kind in the Eastern European country, is expanding its portfolio to support a total of four social enterprises. This effectively doubles their portfolio in terms of investees.
Up until now, Actio had been supporting two social enterprises through its portfolio: Istoriali, focused on cultural heritage preservation, and Babale, which aims to provide opportunities and inclusion for people with down syndrome. The new additions are Tene and Champy. Having already received guidance from Actio in developing a business plan, financial model and social impact plan, they were now given the green light by the investment committee to receive further support in scaling their activities.
The main mission of Tene is to help combat plastic polution through innovation. One notable example includes their webshop featuring eco-friendly USB cables, that are produced by utilizing recycled plastics. Their suite of environmentally friendly products expands further, as they are working on a plastic cup collector, a bottle vending machine and much more.
Actio will provide Tene with a grant of 40.000 euros and a loan of 9.990 euros to help them scale their waste collection system. This will allow for more citizens of Georgia to participate in the project, and the increase production. Some numbers: over the next five years, Tene aims to multiply its monthly plastic collection rate by five, aiming to recycle 1.000 tonnes of plastic in total. Over this time period, they are looking to employ a total of 15 internally displaced persons.
The second addition to the Actio portfolio is Champy. This agricultural social enterprise produces apple chips (not the computer kind, but an actual healthy snack!). Through a process of drying, Champy turns apples and apple waste products into a sustainable food product with a global appeal.
As with Tene, Champy receives a combination of grants and loans amounting up to 50.000 euros, which will be used to acquire technical equipment for the production line. The enterprise aims to employ an additional 40 women and to engage up to 35 partner farmers in the next five years. An estimated 40,000 kilograms of apple waste will be processed in the Champy facilities.
Both Champy and Tene will also receive non-financial support from Actio, to help them develop and measure their impact in the years to come.
Progress for Istoriali
Proof of this impact can be seen by looking at the story of Istoriali, one of the two original social enterprises in the Actio portfolio. On December 13, they officially opened their newly refurbished workshop, putting the investment they received from Actio to good use. In line with their mission, they also presented their new collection, consisting of jewelry, textile and ceramic products inspired by historical artefacts found in Tbilisi.
Crucially, the renovation of their workshop allows for Istoriali to not only increase production and employe more craft people, but also to provide educational services for tourists as well as students interested in metalworking and high-quality jewelry making.
Actio and Impact Europe
In June 2022, CSRDG established the impact fund Actio with the support of the European Commission and Impact Europe (formerly EVPA). CSRDG is the local partner of Impact Europe in the Collaborate For Impact project, which is funded by the European Union. It is a part of the extended market building activities of Impact Europe, as the organisation aims to broaden the geographical scope of impact investing and to include EU-neighbouring countries.