01/29/2013 03:51 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2013

Colorado Leading Effort To Advance Women Entrepreneurs

For decades, Colorado has strived to provide an inspiring and supportive environment that nurtures entrepreneurship and leadership. The lack of women leaders, especially in tech, has sparked a global conversation about the increased creativity, problem-solving, and innovation that occurs in business when gender diversity is present. Colorado's education and business community has taken this conversation to heart and formed several powerful organizations over the past decade that position the state as a thriving hub of leadership resources for women.

For instance, Boulder-based National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 300 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies and non-profits working to increase women's participation in technology and computing. NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain and advance women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers by providing community, evidence and action.

Start-up centric Boulder, Colo. is also home to the University of Colorado's Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, a national organization that prepares graduates for careers as entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators. The Deming Center includes The Women's Council, a membership group of professional women who serve the efforts of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado (CU). The purpose of the Women's Council is to connect students to successful women business leaders who provide support and expertise to both students and other women in the community, helping them realize their potential as entrepreneurs and leaders in business.

The Women's Council recently announced the program line-up for its inaugural Women Inspiring Leadership Development conference (WILD Summit) taking place on February 1, 2013. The WILD Summit will delve into the trends that are driving tomorrow's business opportunities. It provides a unique mix of entrepreneurially-minded women, information and ideas. It will foster an environment of learning about today's realities for women leaders and allow participants to gain insights into key trends shaping the future of five rapidly evolving industries in which women are leading the charge for change. Business leaders will speak on key topics and trends in industry categories such as Natural Foods & Consumer Goods, Health and Wellness, Education, Social Ventures & Sustainability and Marketing.

Other Colorado organizations and meet-ups supporting women entrepreneurs and business leaders include Colorado Business Women, Start-up Women, SheSays, Denver-based Women's Vision Foundation, Women's Leadership Foundation, The Women's Foundation of Colorado, and The Colorado Leadership Council.