In March 2012, SEAF launched the USD 40 million Caucasus Growth Fund to invest in growing and dynamic small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Republic of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. As was common in the region after the fall of the Soviet Union, these nations experienced major market contractions and drops in productivity, as well as political disturbances and conflict as the country struggled through a challenging period of transition away from communism. Nevertheless, they have made significant progress in instituting democracy and market reforms. Against this backdrop, SEAF, in partnership with the IFC and EBRD, established the Caucasus Growth Fund to promote transparent private sector development and poverty alleviation in Georgia.
Since launch, SEAF, through the fund’s local teams, has partnered with strong local entrepreneurs engaged in a variety of industries to promote domestic growth and economic independence and stability. Among other sectors, SEAF has invested in a supermarket chain and is currently exploring further investments.
While these nations have faced various political and economic challenges during SEAF’s tenure in the country, SEAF has engaged the power of ambitious entrepreneurs who, with CGF’s risk capital investments and business partnering, have achieved growth for their companies, sustainable employment for their citizens, and other positive impacts on their economies.