What is Ice House?

Now more than ever in our struggling global economy we rely on entrepreneurs at all levels to revitalize and sustain economic growth; it is essential for educational systems to cultivate an environment that supports and nurtures entrepreneurs who, with the right skill base, will change our vision of the future. However, most entrepreneurial programs do not adequately prepare students for the certain uncertainty, limited resources, and experimental nature of real-world entrepreneurship. While traditional programs mean well they often fail to address the entrepreneurial mindset component that, according to the NBEA Business Standards for Entrepreneurship, is where instruction in entrepreneurship should begin. The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program addresses the mindset component by providing students with a framework for thought, a process for opportunity discovery, and a venue for connecting with their community.

Students explore eight fundamental life lessons, as presented in the Who Owns the Ice House book, as a framework to discover their potential to become unlikely entrepreneurs. These lessons, as described from the perspective of Pulitzer Prize Nominee Clifton Taulbert’s experiences at his uncle’s ice house in the segregated south during the 1950’s, include choice, opportunity, action, knowledge, wealth, brand, community, and persistence. These lessons he learned from his uncle, an unlikely entrepreneur, empowered Mr. Taulbert to himself become an unlikely entrepreneur. In addition to these empowering lessons, students learn directly from modern-day unlikely entrepreneurs through videos and community exercises. Students develop a myriad of core skills such as critical and creative thinking, problem solving, teamwork, oral and written communication, and building networks. Student feedback has been extraordinary, with quotes like “This is the best college course I have ever taken” and “I’ve started reading my textbooks, attending classes, and taking responsibility for my learning. I know now that my success is up to me”.

By attending this facilitator training you will have all of the tools necessary to bring this powerful program to your community. Once you have completed the training, you are able to teach the program in-person, online, or in a hybrid format. The course utilizes a flipped or peer-to-peer learning format, where instructors facilitate student learning through questions and dialogue.

Facilitators all over the world are integrating this course into existing for-credit degree granting programs, some use it as a substitute for a first-year seminar or first-year experience course, some utilize it as the first business course in a two or four year program. The course can also be offered as non-credit through colleges, community organizations, small business development centers, career and technical educational institutions, and a variety of other venues. Some progressive high schools are including the program as a junior or senior level course. Most organizations that have implemented the program have seen it grow exponentially. Many now have wait lists for the course and are sending additional teachers to facilitator trainings.

Register now for the Ice House Facilitator Training Program offered at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute on April 9th and 10th and join us for a complimentary reception featuring Kauffman VP of Entrepreneurship Thom Ruhe and ELI founder Gary Schoeniger.

See you there!

Pamela Morgan,

Director of Training The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative




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