Normally college lecturers teach us whatever is there in the books. But not Neichute Doulo. The former college lecturer has helped create over 15,000 jobs across the Northeast by training youngsters and helping them become entrepreneurs.
For starters, Doulo always wanted to get into entrepreneurship. He sold newspapers as a child and worked his way up to a secure, well paying job of a lecturer. He was a lecturer in Economics in Baptist College, Nagaland. However the drive to do something for the society made him quit his job in 2000. Leaving his secure job, Doulo launched Entrepreneurs Associates (EA) to teach the youths of insurgency-hit Nagaland basic skills, provide start-up capital and marketing network for initiating small enterprises.
EA has been instrumental in shaping the way Nagas view entrepreneurship. Doulo’s work through EA has impacted thousands of Naga youths over the years – linking, guiding and acting as business facilitators.
This venture was not his maiden attempt at entrepreneurship. In 1992, he had formed ‘Beacon Of Hope’ to motivate youths to take up jobs that may even look small. However the process did not sustain and he joined a regular teaching job. For the next few years, he worked as a lecturer in Economics at the Baptist College in Nagaland.
‘When we started, 13 of us at EA donated Rs 500 and one day’s wage as 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’, Doulo told the media.
His journey to create more entrepreneurs
After the humble beginning, EA went to the people seeking donations as an investment to the organization. Since then, the organization has come a long way providing finance at 16 percent interest to youths to start their own small businesses. And that’s not all, over 10,000 people have availed loans from it.
And over the years the organization also received RBI’s approval as a lending organization. This has certainly helped the organization to scale up operations. Three years back, the organization expanded its services in Manipur and has been instrumental in channelizing over Rs 150 crore of loans with 100 per cent recovery to banks.
Today more than 2,700 enterprises are running successfully and over 3,500 farmers are on sustainable livelihood cultivation with direct support from EA. Doulo says his organization has been invited to impart training and launch other activities in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam by respective local governments.
For his contribution, Doulo was recently awarded Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY) by Schwab Foundation of Social Entrepreneurship.