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Aspiring Entrepreneurs from Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda: New Media Use and Cultural Perceptions

Maroney, Brentney
The population for this study was the 12 emerging entrepreneurs from the countries of Kenya, South Africa and Uganda who were part of an Entrepreneur Fellows� two-way exchange program. The study assessed perceptions of the Entrepreneur Fellows� regarding new media platforms prior to the program, following the program, the culture of the United States, the benefits and challenges of participating in an international internship/job shadowing experience, and the training experiences that resonated with the Fellows� regarding their professional roles. A mixed methods analysis was used to examine the phenomenon prior to the program and the post program interview. Based on the questionnaire, the Fellows� preferred Facebook and Pinterest the most, but the Fellows had never heard of the Pinterest and Flickr platforms. Based on the interviews, the Fellows� gained a better understanding of the possibilities of new media outlets but faced the challenges of cost, as well as availability and lack of knowledge in their enterprises. While in the United States, the Fellows had an overall positive opinion of the program and were grateful for their internship placements. The Fellows� traveled back to Africa empowered by the project with beliefs they could make a difference in their countries, especially in regard to empowering aspiring entrepreneurs for economic success.