9. Denver

small biz cities denver

Denver's population is prone to risk-taking for a key reason.

"We have the second-most educated workforce in the country," said Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. "Our labor pool is young, very active and with college degrees. This bodes well for entrepreneurial activity."

The city has become a burgeoning hub for both homegrown entrepreneurs and those migrating from across the nation, said Brough, citing medical devices and tech as hot areas for new startups.

Brough said the city's business community is collaborative by nature.

"[It's] in our roots as a community -- from building barns together to figuring out how to recover from the oil bust of the 1980s, we've been working collaboratively for a long time," she said.

The city's Small Business Development Center is "very integrated with the business community." she said.

For example, the city collaborated with the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Colorado Technology Association to open a new center for entrepreneurship and technology. The center supports emerging high-growth companies by providing them with advisers, short-term leases and job opportunities.

First published July 9, 2014: 2:39 PM ET

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