Activism

Meet The Billionaire Who Gives Away 99% Of His Wealth

He funds cutting-edge scientific research and hi-tech inventions that will help those who need it the most


Manoj Bhargava is an accidental billionaire. He’s the founder and CEO of 5-hour-energy, which unexpectedly exploded in popularity and made him super-rich almost overnight. “But what do you do with it?” he asks about wealth in the documentary Billions In Change. It’s an initiative Bhargava founded to answer that question. He considers himself a ‘do-er’, a man who refuses to be told something isn’t possible (even by the experts).

He set aside a big building at the 5-hour energy offices and employed inventors, engineers and other professionals to come in and do their thing. Mission: create and manufacture things that will benefit the world’s poorest people. Bhargava gives his team an unlimited budget to buy whatever tools and 3-D printers they need to get the job done.

The entrepreneur is worth $4bn and gives 99% of his income to the Billions in Change movement and its team of inventors. He points out that three billion people have no electricity. He aims to build products and technologies based around that fact, and dreams of how many wonderful things could come of providing just this one simple thing- electricity– that we absolutely take for granted in developed nations.

The billionaire says: “Service to others seems the only intelligent choice for the use of wealth. The other choices especially personal consumption, seem either useless or harmful.”

Along with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, Bhargava has signed up to the The Giving Pledge, through which the super wealthy promise to donate the majority of their fortune to good causes.


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