Neichute Doulo, who helped create over 15,000 jobs across the states of Nagaland and Manipur by training youths to become entrepreneurs, has won an award by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
The former lecturer in Economics who taught at the Baptist College in Nagaland, won the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016’ by the Schwab Foundation, which works closely with the World Economic Forum, in partnership with Jubilant Bhartia Foundation.
In 2000, Doulo decided to leave his well-paying job and launched Entrepreneurs Associates (EA), an organisation to teach the youths of insurgency-hit Nagaland basic skills, provide start-up capital and marketing network for initiating small enterprises.
This venture was his second attempt after 1992 when he had formed ‘Beacon of Hope’ to motivate youths to take up jobs that may even look small, but the process did not sustain and he joined a regular job of teaching.
Doulo told PTI, “When we started, 13 of us at EA donated Rs 500 and one day’s wage as an initial corpus. So, we started our journey with an initial capital of Rs 7,500. We began by making greeting cards and selling leather belts and bags, which helped us raise a few lakh rupees.”
EA sought donations as an investment in the organisation. EA now provides financing at 16 percent interest to youths so that they can start their own small businesses and over 10,000 people have availed loans from it.
Three years ago, the organisation expanded its services to the neighbouring state of Manipur and received an approval from RBI as a lending institution and has been instrumental in channelising over Rs 150 crore of loans with 100 percent recovery to banks.
More than 2,700 enterprises are running successfully currently and over 3,500 farmers are on sustainable livelihood cultivation with direct support from EA.