New Delhi, India, 6 October 2016 – 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 2016 India Social Entrepreneur of the Year award. The awards were conferred at the India Economic Summit in New Delhi in the presence of Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping of India. Over 600 participants from more than 30 countries are taking part at the summit from 6 to 7 October.
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. Over the last 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.
Of 100 applicants considered in the 12th annual Social Entrepreneur of the Year selection process for India, five finalists emerged after several stages of rigorous assessment. An independent panel of pre-eminent judges met on 6 October to select the winner. This year’s judges included Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, Niti Aayog; Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director of HT Media Ltd; Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; Sudha Pillai, Board Member Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd and Former Member Secretary of the Planning Commission, Government of India; Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Corporate Service Pvt Ltd; Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Arghyam Foundation and Pratham Books; Harish Hande, Managing Director, Selco Solar Light Ltd; William Bissell, Managing Director, Fab India Overseas Pvt Ltd; Vikram Gandhi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, VSG Capital Advisors; Poonam Bir Kasturi, Founder, Daily Dump, and Winner of Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2015.
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.”
The winner 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.
Other finalists include:
Vikas Shah of Water Health India – Today, 30% of urban Indians and 90% of rural households depend on untreated surface or groundwater with high contamination levels for their drinking and cooking needs. Water Health India (WHIN) sets up networks of decentralized, community water purification systems to provide safe, high quality and affordable water to underserved rural and urban communities. For over 10 years, it has successfully installed more than 400 Water Health Centers, which serve 5 million consumers across 1,800 villages and urban local bodies.
Mrinalini Kher of Yuva Parivartan (YP) – Around 84.5 million of India’s youth live below the poverty line (the highest in the world), accounting for 44.2% of the total youth population. For over 20 years, Yuva Parivartan has been making employability and skill training accessible and affordable to the large segment of India’s BPL youth who live in remote and hostile regions. Every year, over 100,000 youth across 18 states access YP’s training programmes. About 60% are placed in jobs or set up their own ventures, with average incomes increasing by a favourable 32%.
Shanti Raghavan and Dipesh Sutariya of EnAble India (EI) – More than 21 million people are disabled in India, accounting for 2.1% of the total population. Due to multiple factors – low education levels, inaccessible work spaces and minimal job openings – a majority remain economically unproductive. EnAble India (EI) is rapidly building the Indian ecosystem of skilling, employment and entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities. Over the last 15 years, EI has transformed the lives of 132,000 individuals with disabilities, families, community leaders and employers.
Hilmi Quraishi and Subhi Quraishi of ZMQ – ZMQ builds “technology for change” programmes and puts them in the hands of rural communities to increase their access to, and uptake of, critical health, education and livelihoods services. By collaborating actively with governments, international agencies, technology service providers, telecom companies and grassroots players, ZMQ has impacted 22 million lives across India, Afghanistan, six African and two Latin American countries.
About the Schwab Foundation The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was co-founded by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and his wife, Hilde. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has been identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and involves the community of 300 award winners in advancing the field of social innovation in collaboration with corporate, government and academic stakeholders. Selected social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation network participate in World Economic Forum events, thus providing unique opportunities for them to connect with business, political and media leaders. The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.