By Lisa Wirthman

Access to mentors, a Western appreciation for risk-taking and community support for local businesses make Colorado a top state for female entrepreneurs to have a business.

And the numbers prove it.

The state is home to three of the nation’s top 10 cities for women to own a business, according to a recent survey by NerdWallet. Startup haven Boulder earned the No. 1 spot for female entrepreneurship with the most women-owned businesses. Denver ranked third in the survey, while Fort Collins claimed the No. 10 spot.

To discover where women-owned businesses were thriving, NerdWallet scored cities on business climates, local economic health and financing opportunities.

Access to funding is a particular challenge for women-owned businesses, said Donna Evans, who led the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce for nine years before resigning Monday.

In fact, female entrepreneurs get just 4 percent of the total dollar value of all small business loans in the United States.

“There are still strong stereotypes against women, and that includes the finance industry,” said Evans. “There is work that still needs to be done in that area.”

To support female entrepreneurs, the chamber works with the federal Small Business Administration loan program, as well as groups that make loans to startups.