Access to finance unlocks Tsiala’s potential in Georgia

What Tsiala Mamonova is truly passionate about is her clothing business. However, when her mother fell ill, Tsiala had to shut down the business in order to take care of her. Once her mother recovered, Tsiala did not have sufficient funds to restart her business. Instead of returning to her passion, she went to work at a grocery store. 

Tsiala proudly poses at her home with product from her clothing business.

Without access to finance, Tsiala’s story may have ended there. In communities that are excluded from traditional banking, people often lack the upfront resources it takes to start a business or pursue a passion. This makes it difficult to increase one’s economic opportunity, improve one’s standard of living and rise out of poverty.

In the tiny Eastern European country of Georgia, where Tsiala lives, 21% of the population lives below the absolute poverty line, on an income of less than $2 per day. However, this creates tremendous opportunity for change and improvement.

Georgia is among the world’s top 10 economies in the World Bank Group’s ease of doing business ranking. The government has simplified legislation to make it easier to start a business. Tourism is improving, as is the economy as a whole - but many Georgians remain financially excluded. That’s where Kiva comes in.

Tsiala longed to restart her clothing business, but she needed upfront cash to buy inventory. Her relatives recommended that she take out a loan with Credo, Kiva’s Field Partner in Georgia. So she took out her first loan.

With adequate capital, Tisala was able to travel 2 hours to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, to buy clothing and bed linens. She returned to her home town of Khornabuji to sell her goods for a profit. Her most popular products are socks and bed sheets.

Tsiala is currently in the process of repaying the loan. She works part-time at the grocery store to support the growing clothing business. Tsiala says she is happy with the growth of her business and hopes to work there full-time soon.

While Tsiala is happy to return to the work she truly loves, her main motivation for building her business is to save money for her children’s education. She and her husband have two teenage girls who love chemistry and math. The clothing business allows her family to save more money than when she was working at the grocery store full-time. She’s confident that her business will ensure a brighter future for her daughters as they will be able to attend higher education.

Access to finance enables people to pursue their passions and unlocks opportunity for those living in poverty. Tsiala’s Kiva loan helped her tap into her passions and provide for her family on her own. People living in poverty don’t lack passion - they just lack access to capital.

Click here to help Kiva reach underserved populations like Tsiala’s in Georgia.

About the author

Channing Fisher.

Channing first witnessed the ability of entrepreneurship to empower people while studying Spanish in Guatemala. Throughout college, she became interested in microfinance while working in business development in the Netherlands and studying the effects of tourism on Caribbean economies. After graduating from Principia College in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Business, she began work for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit and later found Kiva. She's passionate about communicating and sharing the work done at Kiva and elsewhere in the international development space.