Developing Youth Entrepreneurship in Northeast India

Youth is the future of a country or State. Hence, their development denotes the development of the country or state as a whole. Educating and training the young guns effectively and encouraging them for entrepreneurship are a great way of improving the economy of a state. A steady supply of entrepreneurs is an essential condition for industrial and economic development. One of its major benefits is the creation of job opportunities. North-East India, due to various historical and geographical reasons, is still economically underdeveloped as compared to the other parts of India. It, nonetheless, shows potential in terms of its resources.
Why is the Northeast underdeveloped?  One of the primary reasons for its underdevelopment is the lack of quality entrepreneurs who can utilize the opportunities and resources that the region possesses. Unfortunately, entrepreneurship is not a much preferred vocation by the dwellers of the region. They are much more inclined to jobs especially government ones. There was a time when the situation was under control because there was a healthy balance between demand and supply of jobs. But today, the percentage of educated youth has outnumbered that of jobs available. Hence, a huge section of youth today is unemployed especially in the north-eastern regions of India.
Youth training for developing the Northeast  In order to overcome the job-oriented mindset of the youth in the Northeast as well as the rest of the country, it is necessary to train them in favor of entrepreneurship. They need to be told about the advantages they can enjoy on becoming entrepreneurs. They need to realize that entrepreneurship brings in more money than a job does. And a raised income of the youth will lead to their betterment which, in turn, will develop the region as a whole.
How can entrepreneurship develop Northeast India?
· It will promote the formation of capital: Entrepreneurs play a major role in capital formation. They mobilize the idle savings of the common people. They use their own as well other’s resources for establishing enterprises. Entrepreneurial activities like these lead to creation and value-addition of capital. This ultimately results in economic and industrial development of a region or country.
· It offers large-scale employment opportunities: Entrepreneurs build enterprises which require people to be employed for getting the jobs done. With time, entrepreneurs provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to more and more people. Entrepreneurs thus help in reducing the problem of unemployment and helps in economic growth.
· It removes regional disparities: Setting up of business enterprises leads to the development of road transport, education, health, entertainment etc. promoting balanced regional development.
· It disallows concentration of wealth: Industrial development usually leads to concentration of wealth in the hands of few business owners which results in monopolies. A greater number of entrepreneurs disrupt this process as it distributes wealth amidst greater number of people.
· It increases GNP and per capital income: Entrepreneurs make best use of opportunities and promote effective resource mobilization of capital. They introduce new products and services in the market which leads to the growth of economy. This ultimately leads to the promotion of Gross National Product and the per capita income of a country.
· It affords a better standard of living: Entrepreneurs use the latest innovations in the production of a wide variety of goods and services and sell them at affordable prices. The common people thus get to use good quality goods at affordable prices which results in an improvement in their standard of life. A better standard of living is an obvious sign of economic growth.
Entrepreneurship in Assam  Assam is a centrally located state in Northeast India; its economy is much better than the other parts of the region. Tea, oil, coal and natural gas form its economic base. It has been one of the groundbreakers in industrial development since the British rule. It is the place where the first tea plantation, the first coalfield and the first oil refinery were found. Assam today comprises 2 per cent of the country’s medium and large industries.
It is making a continuous effort to upgrade itself by gearing up its industrial activities and is trying its best to remove the inadequacies of the industry. Industries and Commerce Department of the state and Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) have jointly taken the initiative to improve economic conditions in Assam. It has implemented various promotional schemes aimed at industrial development. This, undoubtedly, has improved the industrial scenario in Assam but a lot is still left to be done.
The issue of unemployment is yet to be catered to. It is the primary cause that has jeopardized the economic growth and development of the state. The number of unemployed youth in Assam is only growing by the day. A huge part of educated youth is sitting jobless. The government is clearly not able to keep up with the rising demands for jobs. Public sector does not have as many vacancies as the number of unemployed young people. Unemployment is thus a huge obstacle in achieving economic development. Every year, with the increase in population, the number of job seekers also increases. These job seekers include both the educated and uneducated lot. The jobless environment is also a threat to society as it often forces people to take up illegal work for survival.
An easy solution for this is the development of employment opportunities for both the educated and uneducated people. And this can be made possible only through proper entrepreneurship programs. Since the public sector cannot completely satisfy the demand for jobs, it is the private sector that has to take the initiative of increase employment opportunities. This can be done by promoting the medium and small scale industries of North-East India. These industries have the potential to employ thousands of people belonging both to the educated and uneducated section.
Entrepreneurship in Meghalaya:  Meghalaya is one of the most industrially backward states in North-East India. Here too, the government has taken some initiative to improve the status of the people but only little has improved. The state government has failed to provide employment to every jobseeker and, hence, the solution is the same here as in the case of Assam - entrepreneurship development.
The most important contribution of entrepreneurship is the generation of employment opportunities. It offers employment to both the educated and uneducated youth which, in turn, develops the economic condition of the region. Meghalaya, being one of the most industrially underdeveloped States in Northeast India, obviously has a whole lot of unemployed youth. Meghalaya, thus, qualifies as a favorable place for setting up industries as employees will readily be available.
Entrepreneurship in Manipur:  Another underdeveloped state in Northeast is Manipur. An objective analysis of the situation in Manipur too shows that entrepreneurship development is necessary for augmenting employment opportunities to people of various skill and experience which, in turn, can promote the growth and development of the region.
Hence, there is no doubt that entrepreneurship development is indeed the most effective solution for combating the evil of unemployment and enhancing the state economy.
There have been plans and efforts on the part of the government dedicated to promote entrepreneurship in the Northeast. But more innovative ideas, plans and efforts are needed to bring it at par with the other states in India. For attaining this, care should be taken to remove problems like unemployment and make the best use of the potential of entrepreneurship. It is only through proper youth training can the future of the northeast as well as the rest of India be improved. (Writer can be reached at –
Dr Athiqul H Laskar