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From the Icehouse to Your House

Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship, The Kauffman Foundation

Next week will witness the launch of a new and engaging learning initiative known as the Icehouse Entrepreneurship Program.

Recognizing our nation’s need for greater economic participation at all levels of society, the Icehouse Entrepreneurship Program captures and conveys the “mindset” of entrepreneurs who overcame adversity and are now helping lead our economic recovery. The program was created by the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative and Clifton Taulbert’s Building Community Institute.

The program consists of a book that shares timeless lessons from the life experiences of Clifton Taulbert (successful entrepreneur and acclaimed author) while growing up in the Jim Crow South. Under the watchful and mentoring eye of his Uncle Cleve Morman, an unlikely entrepreneur, Taulbert experienced the power entrepreneurship has to overcome adversity while making a better future for oneself and their community.

The second part of the program is the online companion course which is intended to be supported and distributed at the community level. It expands on the eight life lessons in a way that is relevant today by sharing the stories of modern day examples of Uncle Cleve who likewise overcame adversity in their own lives by embracing an entrepreneurial mindset and embodying these values. The course brings to life the importance of having an Icehouse (entrepreneurial) mentality that can lead to financial independence for individuals while furthering the economic recovery for our nation.

The book goes live on Amazon next week and course will be available starting in early January. We have funded the creation of the book and course, and are now encouraging communities around the country to bring this powerful program within a variety of applications and audiences ranging from 2-yr and 4-yr colleges, economic development organizations, and community redevelopment programs.

The Icehouse Entrepreneurship Program is a timely reminder of the ability of entrepreneurship to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things, while reminding us that building new companies and creating new jobs will lead to a brighter future and a stronger nation.

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