Interview with Rose Shuman on WomanzWorld

logo300x300Founder and CEO Rose Shuman recently was interviewed on WomanzWorld, a blog for women entrepreneurs. Rose shares her experience in building Question Box and advice on how to move the organization forward.

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Social Entrepreneur Rose Shuman Thinks Outside Of The Box

Interview by Natalie Sisson

I was fortunate enough to meet the phenomenal Rose Shuman in Santa Monica, LA over my Christmas break. Over coffee I got to learn more about this human ball of energy and inspiration. A TED Fellow and Social Entrepreneur, Rose is incredibly engaging and her enthusiasm is infectious.

What I admire most about Rose is that she cares passionately about every aspect of her enterprise. She describes herself as very opinionated and uppity as well as strongly motivated and unafraid of challenging situations..

Question Box is no exception. She knew that 4 billion people in the world aren’t online but increasing numbers have mobile phones. She asked how do you take the promise of the internet and deliver it to people speaking obscure regional languages? Her answer – why not build something that does it for you and uses the networking ability of GPS and mobile phone network infrastructures that even Grandma could use?

She spent three years incubating it and 5 iterations of software and produced a brilliant yet simple innovation. Literally a box with a big button on the front that’s hooked up by mobile phone, it helps users ask for exactly what information they want, when they want it, and how they want it – live, in their local language.

It’s currently being used in Pune, India and piloted last summer in rural Mbale and Bushenyi, Uganda. Callers ask about anything they wish – agriculture, education, sports, health.

As Founder and CEO of Open Mind, she’s on a mission to bring Internet information to everyone who lacks access. On a daily basis she handles major strategy and company vision, investor relations and fundraising, business development, marketing/collateral development, complex international project management, research, operations management. What’s more she directs 15 team members on three continents, including engineering staff!

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