Powerful Forces

African American women take on the high-tech world

puts us in a positive light,” says Lansdowne. “We show them that we know our business, we know what we’re doing, and we’re not just out here to make a buck.”

Despite the challenges, all three agree that technology is an open opportunity for African American women entrepreneurs. Dodson adds that no entrepreneurial venture is easy, and each has its own unique set of roadblocks and challenges. Getting past them is the key, she says. “Now is the right time for us as African American women to really seize the moment in this industry,” says Dodson. “If you truly believe in your business and have a passion about it, success will follow.”

West, a volunteer for the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), sees infinite opportunities ahead for African American women. Recently, she spoke to a group of multicultural students at the Mott Hall magnet school in Harlem about precisely those opportunities.

“I try to push the little girls to see technology as an avenue, for never in my life have I been so free since deciding to make technology my thing,” says West. “I have many choices in front of me right now, and I try to get that across to them.”

And while the opportunities are certainly there for the taking, West says the key is to know yourself, your company, and your areas of specialization inside and out.

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