Inspire hope and develop entrepreneurial skills with an entrepreneurial mindset



Many offenders enter prison with a lack of hope or belief that there is opportunity for a future. Upon re-entry into society, many former offenders leave prison feeling the same. And, they are likely to struggle with substance abuse, inadequate education and job skills, and limited housing options upon release. As a result, recidivism rates amongst released offenders remains high, with many being re-incarcerated for relapsing into criminal behavior.


An entrepreneurial mindset can provide a viable pathway for pre-release offenders to inspire hope and opportunity for the future as well as the entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed in securing employment or creating one’s own entrepreneurial pathway. This new framework for thinking and acting can empower offenders with the resilience needed to overcome challenges and self-doubt as well as the ability to see problems as opportunities to create value. Importantly, an entrepreneurial mindset can prevent an offender from relapsing into old ways of thinking while giving them hope for a better future.


The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program is offered to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in offenders. Ice House is also offered as a leadership and staff development program for leaders and employees in corrections.


Participants will consume video content, discuss and apply core concepts, engage in the entrepreneurial process, and reflect individually. As a result, participants will become more empowered and engaged by:

  • Developing entrepreneurial attitudes, behaviors, and skills
  • Identifying social and situational factors that encourage or inhibit entrepreneurial behavior
  • Identifying, evaluating, and validating opportunities in ambiguous, real-world circumstances
  • Identifying and interacting with entrepreneurs who provide critical guidance and ongoing support


Best practice to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in your organization is to:

  • Assess your entrepreneurial culture to identify needs within your corrections staff;
  • Establish your desired outcomes and evaluation tools to measure success;
  • Select key employees to become Ice House Certified Facilitators;
  • Implement the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program as a staff development program;
  • Implement Ice House as part of your pre-release offender programs; and
  • Assess data and establish strengths and opportunities for improvement for the future.

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Next Steps

To learn more about the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs, join one of our monthly live Ice House Information Webinars. To become an Ice House Certified Facilitator, visit out Training page. To learn more about our entrepreneurial culture assessment and implementation support including the establishment of outcomes and evaluation tools, visit our Consulting page.



  • "Ice House is a promising approach to prison programming for prerelease inmates."

    Dr. Linda Keena, Associate Professor & Interim Department Chair of Legal Studies, The University of Mississippi Department of Legal Studies

  • "The Ice House Entrepreneurship curriculum helps the returning citizens we work with do more than just learn about an entrepreneurial mindset. From the start participants are challenged to develop an entrepreneurial mindset of their own on their path to self-employment."

    Tamra Thetford, Chief Program Officer, Justine PETERSEN