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Field of Dreams

This entrepreneur is making a difference for women in tech--and her SMB clients.

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This story appears in the August 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Lena L. West was initially discouraged by the lack of black women in the tech field when she started XynoMedia Technology, a Yonkers, New York-based tech consulting firm for SMBs, in 1997. "At the time, there wasn't much of a presence of people of color in general," says West. Then West began noticing that people remembered her specifically because she was one of the few black females in the field, and she says she started to revel in her unique status. However, she hopes more will join the ranks and acknowledges the pioneers that came before her: "I stand on the shoulders of a lot of women working in the tech space."

Yet West, in her early 30s, says it's also a challenge "being asked what it's like being a person of color in technology." Through sharing her experiences and increasing awareness, West wants to be noted less for her race and more for her achievements--from 2005 to 2006, XynoMedia has increased revenue by 46 percent, projecting 2006 sales to reach $1 million to $2 million. West was raised with strong women in her family who "always thought in terms of possibility," she says.

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