Drive economic development with an entrepreneurial mindset

Economic Development


Technological advances combined with long-term downward trends in business creation challenge economic development in communities. According to the Economic Innovation Group, new business formation has dropped by 50% over the last 40 years. Further, advances in automation will likely eliminate millions of jobs leaving the need to create new entrepreneurial activity to cultivate job creation. With the growth of a remote workforce in the new world of work, individuals are now placemaking in communities that thrive with entrepreneurial culture.


Entrepreneurs are the engines that drive an innovative and dynamic economy and cultivating entrepreneurial activity can help turn around the long term downward trends in new business creation. In addition to supporting existing entrepreneurs, communities need to cultivate new entrepreneurial members of their society that generate new business, contribute to community solutions and positive change, and help cultivate an entrepreneurial culture where individuals want to placemake.


Organizations have implemented the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (Small Business Edition) to develop an entrepreneurial mindset needed to create entrepreneurial culture in communities and grow economies.


Participants will consume video content, discuss and apply core concepts, engage in the entrepreneurial process, and reflect individually. As a result, they 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 and grow economic opportunity in your community is to:

  • Engage stakeholders with an ELI keynote and/or workshop;
  • Assess your entrepreneurial culture to identify gaps;
  • 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 across your organization; and
  • Assess data and establish strengths and opportunities for improvement for the future.

Click here to go to our Economic Development Case Studies

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.


  • "I was very glad to encounter the Ice House concept at the Kauffman Foundation several years ago at a program sponsored by the Philanthropy Roundtable. As a philanthropist, I am proud to contribute to an effort that will create a transformational shift in mindset within our community."

    Joe Woodford, Philanthropist, Community Leadership Fund

  • "Ice House has successfully empowered our local entrepreneurs to thrive in starting businesses that are stimulating our economy and revitalizing our community. We intend to expand our impact by bringing Ice House to hundreds in the coming year."

    Taj Stokes, Executive Director, Thrive Colorado Springs