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Fight Back

If you've been a victim of "ism"--racism, ageism, sexism--these tips will keep you from getting discouraged.

This story appears in the November 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Back in 1997, when Julie Rodriguez and Diana Navarro started their company, Intune Technology, a San Francisco firm that conducts motivational workshops for small businesses and individuals, a meeting of a local Hispanic business advocacy group seemed like the ideal place to introduce their start-up and find support. "We went to [this meeting] not only to network, but also to look for mentoring-and we were invited by a colleague," Rodriguez recalls.

But what they got was a cold shoulder. When Rodriguez and Navarro first arrived at the meeting, the woman who headed the organization greeted them warmly, assuming they were college students there to listen and learn. But when their colleague arrived and formally introduced Rodriguez and Navarro as business partners of Intune Technology, the woman's demeanor quickly changed.

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