Entrepreneurs Associates

Focus: Children and Youth, Livelihoods, Women

THE unemployment rate in Nagaland is nearly double the national average of 4.8%. To tackle this, Entrepreneurs Associates help youth in the state look beyond government jobs and start their own enterprises.

The north-eastern states of India have remained isolated from the rest of the nation for decades, greatly affecting the development of the region. In Nagaland alone, 65% of 18 to 35-year-olds are job seekers and over 70,000 educated youths remain unemployed.

With the objective to transform the economic landscape of Nagaland that 44-year-old economics professor Niechute Doulo, established Entrepreneurs Associates (EA) in 2000 to promote entrepreneurship, build the spirit of self-reliance, and support first generation entrepreneurs.

Take Temsurenla Ao, whose mother was the only earning member in the family while she was growing up. Determined to be financially independent, after completing her university degree and a stint at her brother’s fashion label, Temsurenla wanted to start something of her own but lacked the finances and know-how.

It was during this time, in 2011, she came across EA and a year later, embarked on her journey as a restaurateur. Today, the 33-year-old is the co-owner of a multi-cuisine restaurant, and manager of EA’s Dimapur branch office.

The vision of EA is based on the Naga tradition of Feast of Merit where an individual who acquires wealth, distributes it back to the community. EA began with 13 people donating ₹500 and one day’s earnings. Today, the organisation provides financial support to over 10,000 people.

Since its establishment, EA has focused on training, mentoring, and networking of entrepreneurs;, and encouraging local youths to start their own businesses and contribute towards building the state economy instead of depending on the government to provide jobs. EA provide various courses, the main one being Basic Entrepreneurial Skills Training, which is an intensive 30-day programme for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Over the 18 years, EA has trained and mentored over 8,000 youths in Nagaland and Manipur; supported more than 10,000 farmers to take up livelihood activities in rural areas; facilitated upliftment of about 800 women street vendors across Nagaland; and worked with about 1,500 self-help groups for livelihoods and enterprise development.

Your support will help EA direct more young people into entrepreneurship and financial independence.

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Interning with EA for a month was great learning opportunity for me. I gained a lot of experience, which is thoroughly helpful. I feel more confident after working with EA.

Neitho Kehie, Intern, Kohima

I appreciate the workmanship of the EA team and their CEO Mr Neichute Doulo’s genuine eagerness to help others.

Neithonuo Tungoe, Editor, Take One Production,, Kohima