DURHAM – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to helping North Carolinians reach their full entrepreneurial potential, announced today that the organization continues to advance the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP) through a pilot program with North Carolina’s public libraries; and will be offering its fourth cohort of IHEP Facilitator Training this December 10-12, 2019 on the campus of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC.

Twenty-two public libraries from across the state’s 100 counties are currently participating in our pilot running through June 2020 with the goal to identify strategies to become effective members of their community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This pilot program, in partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO), a leading provider of library services, takes advantage of all that libraries have to offer while expanding on services and programming that encourage local entrepreneurship and economic activity, enabling libraries to play a role in the local entrepreneurial economy. The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program is a major component of the pilot.

“We believe the state’s public libraries are an un-tapped but powerful mechanism to spread an entrepreneurial mindset and be an important contributor to economic growth, particularly in areas of the state that are experiencing economic distress,” said John Austin, Senior Director of NC IDEA. “In addition to the current pilot, we are excited to offer our fourth Ice House Facilitator Training this December to collaborate with additional education partners who want to join us in empowering people with an entrepreneurial mindset,” Austin concluded.

Created in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP) is an experiential, problem-based program designed to inspire and engage learners in the fundamental aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset, while immersing them in entrepreneurial experiences that will enable them to develop creativity and critical thinking, effective problem solving, teamwork and other entrepreneurial skills – skills that will enable them to succeed regardless of their chosen path.

The program can be offered in a variety of ways to students in public and private high schools, community colleges and universities, clients of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and those served by our statewide network of ecosystem and economic development partner organizations, including public libraries. The course is facilitated by instructors and faculty that complete a three-day training and certification program that does not require the instructor to be a subject matter expert in entrepreneurship, but rather a facilitator of the materials (print, online and video) to provide the expertise.

NC IDEA is hosting its fourth Ice House Facilitator Training for education partners interested in offering the course to their constituents this December 10-12 at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. Education partners will likely be entrepreneurially-minded organizations drawn from educational institutions (particularly community colleges), entrepreneurial support organizations, economic development organizations, CDFIs or government entities. Organizations with demonstrable intent and capacity to offer the program to individuals broadly, will be given priority consideration. Because seating is limited, we will be admitting facilitators through an application process. NC IDEA will pay the training costs and participants will only have travel-related expenses. To learn more and apply to become an Ice House Partner, visit www.ncidea.org/grants-programs/ice-house. The deadline to apply is November 8th at 5:00pm EST.

Since offering our first IHEP training a year ago, over 150 individuals from across the state have become certified facilitators. The Ice House program has since been offered 34 times to a wide variety of audiences across the state, including middle and high school students, community college and university students, vocational rehabilitation counselors, startup founders and dislocated workers. Learn more about the powerful curriculum at www.elimindset.com.