How To Make Money *AND* Solve Big Problems

Why Give a Damn:

Yes, Manoj Sinha holds 10 US patents. That only scratches the surface. Manoj speaks about what to do if you just need to make money and can’t afford to save the world at any cost.

Start working with a more advanced stage social enterprise. You will figure out what you like.  Tweet This Quote

Bio: Manoj Sinha is the Co-Founder of Husk Power Systems, an organization’s whose objective is to electrify rural India. Husk Power Systems converts rice husks, an abundant waste product for Indian villagers, into biogas. These biogas can then be captured to produce affordable electricity. By the end of 2010, Husk Power Systems will have successfully electrified 125 villages and hopes to expand its services to over 5,000 villages, providing electricity for over 20 million people. He received an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Amherst and completed his MBA at the University of Virginia. Manoj and his founding team were named “social entrepreneurs of the year” by Fast Company and Husk Power Systems was named “top student innovation” by the New York Times in December 2008. Manoj has secured investment from the Acumen Fund and the Shell Foundation and won the Draper Fisher Jurvetson – Cisco Global Business Plan Competition. He is an alumnus of the Global Social Benefit Incubator program, previously served as a microprocessor designer at Intel, and holds 10 U.S. patents.

When there’s no cold beer at night and you are shit tired. Are you comfortable with that?  Tweet This Quote

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Unreasonable Media

Unreasonable Media

As a company, Unreasonable Media is dedicated to leveraging the power of stories to shift paradigms and solve problems. That's why we have made almost all the videos you see on this site. Long story short, we are not your average production company. Visit our site to see for yourself.

  • lamt5

    This video discussed a topic that is very pertinent to myself as well as many of the other seniors that are graduating with me this year… Student loans and finding a job. It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next few years after graduating.

  • BartuchGR11

    Thank you for posting this blog I found the video interesting. I think this blog could be helpful to others because here in the United States we dump a lot of stuff into our landfills. What if we took something from our landfill like cigarette buds and was able to convert into useful product such as energy. I do agree with what the Husk Power systems are doing. I think it is a great idea wish the United States would do something similar. By the end of 2010 the were able to provide electricity to 125 villages just by converting rice husks into biogas. Which is absolutely amazing. Great job and keep up the good work.

  • natebbeard

    This is a great topic. Literally hear this question around campus all the time, and it’s the route I’ll be taking soon as well. I’m over the ‘resume building’ jobs for now. A lot of buddies go straight into consulting or Goldman in order to pay off the loans and get the training that enables them to do what they want later… sometimes later never comes though.

  • greatelk

    Like some of the other commentors below, the question of what to do after college and concerns about paying off student loans are very present right now. This is a creative option that I haven’t thought about before!

  • benbl

    This is true for everybody but I also believe that you can start creating yourself other opportunity than finding a job for paying back a loan. For student that are going to graduate I believe that this is the moment to take your change and do what you really want and turn passion to reality.

  • Hairong Zheng

    Thank your for this great post! I like the idea about going for some jobs which at least enable students pay their loans and daily life. Small companies sometimes gives more chances for new graduates to see the reality about life, industry situation, and occupation trends. I am facing the same situation as a senior student. I hope I can do this.

  • Andersonjc16

    I like how this issue is being discussed because i feel students loans is something that everyone knows it is their but do not talk about which i feel makes it a bigger problem. And having this issue out in the open i think better prepares us as studenst for the reality after out education is done.

  • MeierKM23

    Thank you for sharing this. I am glad it is being discussed because I know a lot of college students across the US feel the pressure of getting those loans paid off and if they’ll find a job to pay those loans off. Although I am only a second year college student, I know that when I am a senior ready to graduate I will be having these feelings more than I do now. Of course I think about my future and where I would like to be after college. It is hard to see that when I have two years left, and who knows where those two years will take me. I see many of the comments before me are by seniors almost ready to graduate. I hope when that time comes for me I am able to forget about how long it will take to pay those loans off and will have worked hard enough to find a job that I will enjoy, and of course can help pay those off. Thanks again for sharing this!

  • vitalecm03

    This is very interesting to me as I am currently a college student and see graduation in the new couple years and I worry about finding the right place to work, I feel like this world I grew up in is based on money and control and I won’t feel secure unless I have a job that I can make a decent amount of money at that I will be able to pay back all my students loans and not be in debt the rest of my life and be able to afford nice things and provide for the family I wish to have. Thank you for this.

  • Keiichi

    I never had student loan before, but it is one of the things to give pressure to students. Then, after graduate college, what kind of work place do you choose is depends on what you learn on college and what do you want to achieve.

  • Josh Pritchard

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am in the same situation! This is a great clip to watch. What he is doing to provide energy is great. What if this doesn’t work in the future though? What source do you turn to next?

  • duongh1

    I’m in the same situation. As my graduation date is coming, I feel that I don’t know what I’m going to do and still not sure what I’d like to do afterwards. I will take the advice and look into advanced social enterprise in order to figure out where I belong.

  • chrinsmas

    Because I was lucky that my parents took care of my tuition and all other expenses, I probably didn’t worry as much as other students who had to have student loans. However, I did worry about paying back for my parents in a way of showing them their investment for me was worthwhile. Showing them I am finding a way to pursue my passions and do something that meets the society needs.

  • Frank_Stanek

    I have been in school longer than I wanted to be and so I am painfully aware of how the stress of the inevitable loan repayment you will be doing takes it toll. I am fortunate enough that my parents have been helping me with my loan payments but they are still a constant source of stress and really all around pressure that I HAVE to find a job so that the money I am spending is worthwhile even if I find myself not completely sure of what I want to do. In the end I just try and keep in mind that the degree that you graduate with is less important than the skills and abilities that you developed as part of your education.

  • Jack Delabar

    Completely agree with you! So much of today’s society is putting pressure on feeling financially secure and having a job that can fulfill that . Personally, I will be content with an average teaching job and nice family as long as I can provide for them, I will be a happy camper! The question I ask is the same as josh’s, What would I turn to next if I that didn’t work out?

  • Brandon

    wow this is a great topic. Getting out of school with less loans is key because it puts a lot of stress on you to pay them back soon as possible. Money has so much control in world. i like to find a secure job once i am done with college.

  • Brandon

    wow this is a great topic. Getting out of school with less loans is key because it puts a lot of stress on you to pay them back soon as possible. Money has so much control in world. i like to find a secure job once i am done with college.

  • schrammjm26

    I will have no student loans to pay when I get out of college so I’m sure I have a bit of a skewed perspective. I also am a very driven individual that knows exactly what their striving to achieve and why. Because of these reasons I disagree with this article. I believe that if you have just spent tens of thousands of dollars on an education you should attempt to get a job doing what you love or what you envisioned yourself doing, not taking a decent paying job solely for the reason of paying off your loans. If you do not have an idea of what you want to do however I could see how this would be a viable option but personally since I always have an idea of what direction I’m headed I would like to get experience in a field I would like to start a life-long career in.

  • Drew Cox

    I love this topic. By far most interesting topic on this website in my opinion. I agree to stay positive and chose the right option even if it isn’t the biggest paying option. The advice here is amazing, social enterprises along the way helping us students in difficult times can help out with the loan amounts coming our way upon graduation. How was the struggle for you coming out of school or whatever endeavor your came about from!! Thanks for the article

  • Jessica Andrew

    Thank you for sharing this video! It applies to me because I am in college right now and I will eventually have to pay back some loans. I already know that it is going to be a pain and I will be very stressed out about it. Although, I really liked the advice you gave about social enterprises being able to help college students in difficult times. College students need to stay positive and realize that everything will be okay in the long run. We just need to stay positive. What if the social enterprises idea doesn’t work? What should I do?

  • Mahir Haque

    As a graduate student, this topic is especially relevant to me, since the area of work I want to go in has to do with the Public Interest, and yet most people in that sort of industry get paid dog’s biscuits, so to speak. By going to organisations that value our talents and starting off at a more established organisation, we can definitely try to make ourselves more established that way while helping save the world.

  • Keal7685

    This video felt very encouraging to me as a college student. I am really interested in careers with social ethics and it was nice to hear that it is possible to get one that pays enough to pay back part of a loan. It sometimes feels like loans are a never ending black hole.This video encouraged me to keep working hard in school and feel more optimistic about avoiding a cubicle farm job that I hate.

  • katie bartlein

    Gives us college students some hope! Of course, no body wants to start at the bottom of the pyramid but this video helped realize we have to start somewhere and can work our way up. I almost feel slightly overwhelmed by this video as well. It seems like there are so many wonderful opportunities out there just waiting for ‘us’ college students but I don’t know where to start. Where is a good place to get started?

  • Caitlin Donohue

    Thank you for this article! That is definitely helpful information for students graduating from college. I will definitely follow those tips. What are some things you have patents for?

  • Joseph

    This was a great article and a great interview. Seeing as I am a college students about to come out of college I find this very comforting and helpful. This video motivates me to keep working hard. My job doesn’t pay the most. I am okay with that. I am always thinking of other things that I will be able to do with my off time. I think i may have found it too. Great article!

  • Lissa Anderson
  • Marcy Glad

    It isn’t always easy to continue with the same dedication when everyone involved in the project feels broke, tired, drained, and the problem is still looming ahead, just as urgent as ever. Those are the times when it is is most mission critical to continue to move forward, and accept that it might at least feel worse before it gets closer to being resolved. Mental preparation can very often make overcoming those hurdles easier.