The Complexities of Social Change: Why Entrepreneurship Alone Falls Short in Nagaland

"To tackle complex social issues, we must go beyond entrepreneurship and embrace a comprehensive approach." 
- Malala Yousafzai

Entrepreneurship has often been hailed as a powerful tool for social change, driving economic growth and addressing societal problems. However, it is important to recognize that entrepreneurship alone may not be the sole sustainable solution to all social problems, particularly in the unique context of the state of Nagaland. While entrepreneurship can contribute significantly to the overall development of a region, it is crucial to understand the limitations it faces in addressing complex social issues.

Nagaland, located in northeastern India, faces numerous social challenges that go beyond economic concerns. Issues such as ethnic complexities, political instability, and cultural preservation require comprehensive and multifaceted approaches. Entrepreneurship, although valuable, cannot tackle these deep-rooted problems single-handedly.

One of the fundamental limitations of entrepreneurship in Nagaland is the lack of access to resources and infrastructure. The state faces significant challenges in terms of basic amenities such as electricity, transportation, and communication networks. These infrastructural limitations hamper the growth and scalability of entrepreneurial ventures, making it difficult for them to create a substantial impact on larger social problems.

Moreover, Nagaland's social problems are often intertwined with historical and cultural complexities. Entrepreneurship focuses primarily on creating economic value, whereas social problems in Nagaland require a nuanced understanding of cultural heritage, identity, and historical context. Solving these issues necessitates initiatives that are deeply rooted in community engagement, cultural sensitivity, and long-term sustainable development plans. Entrepreneurship, while important, cannot address these multifaceted challenges in isolation.

Another crucial factor to consider is the education and skill gap in Nagaland. To foster entrepreneurship, a strong foundation in education and skill development is essential. Unfortunately, Nagaland's education system faces significant challenges, including limited access to quality education, a shortage of skilled teachers, and a lack of vocational training opportunities. These barriers prevent individuals from acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to become successful entrepreneurs, further limiting the potential impact of entrepreneurship on social problems.

A fact that needs to be considered is that, the absence of a distinct middle class in Nagaland is an important aspect to consider when discussing ‘entrepreneurship’ as an ‘all-in-one solution’ in the region. The absence of a middle class in Nagaland's society adds another layer of complexity to the role of entrepreneurship in addressing social problems in the state. The lack of a substantial middle class means that there is limited purchasing power and a smaller market for entrepreneurial ventures. This poses challenges for sustainability and long-term viability.

Entrepreneurship thrives when there is a strong middle class that can support and sustain businesses by consuming goods and services. The middle class acts as a bridge between the affluent class and those in poverty, contributing to economic growth and social stability. However, the absence of a middle class in Nagaland makes it difficult for entrepreneurs to find a sustainable market and build a customer base.

Furthermore, without a robust middle class, the income inequality gap widens, exacerbating social problems rather than resolving them. While entrepreneurship has the potential to create job opportunities, it may not necessarily address the underlying structural issues that contribute to income inequality in Nagaland. The lack of a middle class implies that the benefits of entrepreneurship may disproportionately concentrates among a few individuals, potentially deepening social divisions. Indeed a WARNING sign!

Furthermore, entrepreneurship alone may not adequately address the issue of income inequality in Nagaland. While successful entrepreneurs can create employment opportunities, it is important to recognize that not everyone has the capacity or desire to become an entrepreneur. For a sustainable solution, a comprehensive approach is needed that includes initiatives focusing on education, healthcare, infrastructure development, and social welfare programs and their successful implementation at mass scale on a war footing.

Additionally, the sustainability of entrepreneurial ventures is heavily influenced by the availability of a conducive business environment. In Nagaland, factors such as regulatory barriers, lack of financial support, corruption and limited market access pose significant challenges to the success and growth of startups. To overcome these hurdles, it requires a collaborative effort from the government, private sector, and civil society to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship to thrive.

While entrepreneurship can contribute to economic growth and job creation, it should be seen as part of a larger framework of social development in Nagaland. Addressing the complex social problems in the state requires a holistic approach that encompasses various sectors and stakeholders. Education, infrastructure development, cultural preservation, and political stability are crucial components that need to be integrated with entrepreneurial initiatives to bring about sustainable change.

In conclusion, it is imperative to recognize that entrepreneurship alone cannot single-handedly solve the multifaceted social problems in Nagaland. While entrepreneurship has its merits and can contribute to economic growth, it is crucial to take into account the unique context of the state and the complexity of the challenges it faces. The limitations of infrastructure, cultural complexities, education gaps, income inequality, and the need for a conducive business environment all highlight the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach.

To truly address social problems in Nagaland, a holistic framework that combines entrepreneurship with education, infrastructure development, cultural preservation, and social welfare initiatives is necessary. By acknowledging and working towards these broader goals, Nagaland can create a more inclusive and sustainable future. It is essential for stakeholders, including the government, private sector, civil society organizations, and communities, to collaborate and forge partnerships that leverage the strengths of each sector. Only through collective effort and a long-term vision can the state of Nagaland overcome its challenges and achieve meaningful and lasting social change.

By embracing a multifaceted approach, Nagaland can harness the power of entrepreneurship while also addressing the deeper social issues that underlie its development. This comprehensive approach will pave the way for a more prosperous and harmonious society, where economic growth and social progress go hand in hand. Let us strive towards a future where entrepreneurship acts as a catalyst for positive change, supported by a robust ecosystem of education, infrastructure, cultural preservation, and social welfare, ensuring a sustainable and inclusive Nagaland for generations to come.


The Degree of Thought Column is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. The column explored contemporary social, cultural, political, and educational issues and challenges around us. However, the views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC-accredited, UCG-recognized Commerce and Arts college. Currently, the Degree of Thought Column is managed by the department of Mass Communication, and the editorial team are Dr Jenny Lalmuanpuii, KC Gabriela and Rinsit Sareo. For feedback or comments, please email: