1998 • Entrepreneurial Role Model Award

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The entry for Colleen Klein in the "Who's Who of Canadian Women" describes her path to success as follows:  "From professional flamenco dancer to inventor to business women.  Internationally recognized as a leading exponent and dynamic speaker on women's issues in business, invention, entrepreneurship and innovation." 

Born and educated in South Africa, Colleen's dance career led to solo performances with the Mercedes Molina Spanish Dance Theatre but this talent was not destined to become her profession.  Her entrepreneurial, not dancing, flair was what made Colleen Klein the successful businesswoman she is today.
Colleen, or "Chips" as she is better known, founded Chipco Canada Inc in 1982.  Her company manufactures and distributes the Eye Maker line of mirrors – a product designed, developed and patented by "Chips".  These mirrors retail not only in Canada but also in the United States and other countries around the world. 
Having gained extensive business experience and practical knowledge, she created Chipco communications as a business consultancy division.

This company has since expanded to provide a more complete range of services. 
"Chips" is now recognized as a leading business consultant and one of her many clients is the Women Inventors Project Inc, a non-profit organization whose mandate is to encourage, advise and assist entrepreneurial and inventive people.  Her own experience as an inventor and entrepreneur formed the basis of a case study published in "The Book for Women Who Invent or Want To" – a Canadian bestseller. 

Her successes in business and her extra-curricular activities have not gone unrecognized.  In 1990 she was nominated for the YWCA of Metropolitan Toronto "Woman of Distinction" award.  The Ontario March of Dimes also gave her an Award of Commendation for her work with the mentally and physically challenged. 

" Chips" is also a mentor in the Step Ahead One on One mentoring program and she is the executive coordinator of the Step Ahead Women Business Owners Association. 

She has been interviewed on numerous radio and television shows, written articles for several magazines and spoken at major conferences and seminars. 

She has also published a reference guide on invention, innovation and entrepreneurship and writes a popular business column for the Globe and Mail. 

" Chips" has, by example, raised the profile of entrepreneurship, individually and within the corporate sector.  She is a strong role model for all entrepreneurs and inventors.