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NC IDEA Accepting Applications for Fifth Cohort of Ice House Entrepreneurship Program Facilitator Training

Foundation Continues to Advance Statewide Entrepreneurial Mindset Program

 DURHAM, NC – January 5, 2023 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that applications are open for the fifth cohort of Facilitator Training for the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program. The upcoming training will consist of two virtual and two in-person sessions between February 21 and March 21, 2023.

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. IHEP is the ambition of NC IDEA MINDSET, a Foundation program and statewide effort to offer entrepreneurial mindset education.

The program can be offered in a variety of ways to students in public and private high schools, community colleges and universities, and those served by NC IDEA’s statewide network of ECOSYSTEM and economic development partner organizations. NC IDEA acts in a train-the-trainer capacity, hosting facilitator trainings and empowering facilitators to deploy the material in community-based courses.

“Since December 2018, over 300 individuals from across the state have been certified to facilitate Ice House programs through our cohort-based training,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “These partners have offered the Ice House curriculum to their constituents, even pivoting quickly to offer virtual courses during the pandemic. We look forward to collaborating with additional education and economic development partners who want to join us in empowering people with an entrepreneurial mindset,” Ruhe concluded.

NC IDEA is hosting its fifth Ice House Facilitator Training this upcoming February and March. The cohort will start in a virtual environment on February 21 and March 7 and conclude with in-person sessions in Winston-Salem on March 20 and 21. In the previous four cohorts, facilitators came from entrepreneurial-minded educational institutions (particularly community colleges), entrepreneurial support organizations, economic development organizations, CDFIs, and government entities.

To be eligible for NC IDEA’s Facilitator Training, applicants must reside and work in North Carolina and have a passion for developing an entrepreneurial mindset within the entities they support. Priority consideration will go to applicants from organizations (a) with demonstrable intent and capacity to offer the program and; (b) that are actively working in economically distressed counties. Subject matter expertise in entrepreneurship is not required, as facilitators utilize online materials, including videos, to provide the foundational elements for class discussion and exercises.

NC IDEA covers training costs; participants will only incur travel-related expenses. To learn more and apply for this upcoming facilitator training cohort, visit The deadline to apply is January 27th. All applicants will be notified by February 3rd.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs, and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at

About the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative
The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) is a global thought leader dedicated to expanding human potential through entrepreneurial mindset education. ELI serves academic institutions, government agencies, profit, and non-profit organizations around the world to empower their constituents with an entrepreneurial mindset through professional development training, facilitator certification and curriculum content. ELI is the creator of the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs. Learn more at