New Delhi: Neichute Doulo of Entrepreneurs Associate (EA) was awarded as India’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 by The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation. Social Innovator Neichute Doulo of Entrepreneurs Associate (EA) was awarded for his work in promoting entrepreneurship and peace building in north-eastern India. The Naga movement, one of the oldest unresolved armed conflicts in the world, has hampered economic development in the region.
For over 20 years, EA has successfully launched the first generations of Naga and Manipuri entrepreneurs, built up vibrant local markets, catalysed local production, generated local jobs, activated financial institutions and steered government will to demonstrate that entrepreneurship can be the route to peace building. The awards were conferred by Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping of India in the presence of over 300 participants at a high-level celebration in New Delhi. The award ceremony also served as the welcome dinner of the India Economic Summit organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping said “Politics is an instrument of social and economic reforms. There is a need to create awareness on social consciousness and social responsibility.” He applauded the work done by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and Jubilant Bhartia Foundation in recognising and rewarding the efforts of the social entrepreneurs over the years. He also congratulated the finalists and all the social entrepreneurs for working towards a greater cause at the grassroot level.”
Of over 100 applicants considered at this year’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year selection process for India, five finalists emerged after several stages of rigorous assessment. An independent panel of distinguished jury selected the winner. This year’s judges included Ms. Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson & Editorial Director of HT Media Ltd; Ms. Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; Ms. Sudha Pillai, Board Member Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd and Former Member Secretary of Planning Commission, Govt. of India; Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, Govt. of India; Mr. Harish Hande, Managing Director, Selco Solar Light Ltd; Ms. Poonam Bir Kasturi, Founder, Daily Dump & Winner SEOY 2015; Ms. Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Arghyam Foundation; Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Corp. Services Private Limited; Mr. Vikram Gandhi, Founder and CEO, VSG Capital Advisors & Mr. William Bissell, Managing Director, Fab India Overseas Pvt. Ltd.
Commenting on the finalists, Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, said, “We are delighted to see that this year’s finalists are all strong contributors to the key social priorities of the Government of India. They are all operating at significant scale across regions including north-eastern India and supporting social and economic inclusion in many ways – by creating access to basic services, skills and digital connectivity.”
Congratulating the winner, Mr. Shyam S Bhartia, Chairman & Founder and Mr. Hari S Bhartia, Co-Chairman & Founder, Jubilant Bhartia Group and Founder Directors of Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, said, “Jubilant Bhartia Foundation is committed to promoting social entrepreneurship in the country. SEOY India Award aims at rewarding passion, dedication to a cause and the ability to drive change through innovation and modern technology. We congratulate all the participants for their efforts in addressing social problems and bringing about transformational change.”
Neichute Doulo will be invited to join the Schwab Foundation’s global community of over 300 social innovators. Social Entrepreneurs are driven by their mission to create substantial social change and promote inclusive growth, developing new products and service models that benefit underserved communities.