The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation announced Neichute Doulo, Entrepreneurs Associate (EA) as the winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year- India 2016. The awards were conferred by Union road transport, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari in presence of over 300 participants at a 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, Gadkari said, “Politics is an instrument of social and economic reforms. There is a need to create awareness on social consciousness and social responsibility.” The Union minister applauded the work done by 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.

Neichute Doulo of Entrepreneurs Associate (EA) was awarded for his work in promoting entrepreneurship and peace building in Northeast 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, catalyzed local production, generated local jobs, activated financial institutions and steered government will to demonstrate that entrepreneurship can be the route to peace building.

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  chairperson & editorial director of HT Media Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and co-founder at Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship Hilde Schwab, board member at Jubilant Life Sciences Sudha Pillai and CEO at Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant, managing director at  Selco Solar Light Harish Hande, founder at Daily Dump & Winner SEOY 2015 Poonam Bir Kasturi,  chairperson at Arghyam Foundation Rohini Nilekani, chairman at Hero Corp Services Sunil Kant Munjal, founder and CEO at VSG Capital Advisors Vikram Gandhi and managing director at Fab India Overseas William Bissell.

Commenting on the finalists, Hilde Schwab, chairperson and co-founder at 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. They are all operating at significant scale across regions including Northeast India and supporting social and economic inclusion in many ways – by creating access to basic services, skills and digital connectivity.”

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