In every community, there are “Ice House Entrepreneurs”

What is Ice House?

In the late 1950s, Glen Allan, Mississippi was a poor cotton community where opportunities seemed limited and resources were scarce. For most, the work was in the fields where the sun was hot, the days were long, and the wages low. Yet, there was one man who saw opportunity where others did not—an unlikely entrepreneur named Cleve Mormon—the man who owned the Ice House.

In every community, there are “Ice House Entrepreneurs”— ordinary people who have no particular advantage over others, yet somehow they manage to succeed. What sets them apart? How are they able to recognize opportunities that others overlook? What is it that enables them to overcome obstacles and rise above their circumstances to reach for a better life? And more importantly, what can we all learn from them?

Inspired by the life story of Pulitzer nominee Clifton Taulbert and the influence of his Uncle Cleve, Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur is the companion text to the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs—experiential, problem-based learning programs designed to inspire and engage participants with the determination and perseverance of an entrepreneurial mindset. Ice House participants learn from a diverse array of real world, “unlikely” entrepreneurs who have embraced an entrepreneurial mindset.

Ice House has now inspired and engaged students and educators as well as business, government, and nonprofit leaders around the world in the fundamental aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset and the limitless opportunities it can provide.

Browse the Ice House Entrepreneurship Programs to learn how you can bring this program to your classroom, organization, or community.



  • "I’ll admit that going into this class I was just coming out of a very dark place. However, I believe this class is the cause of a big turnaround for me and has brought me back into academics with a new, more positive light…I have a drive now to get my degree and a better idea of where I want to go when I have it. The fact that this entire class was focused on changing my mindset has kept me in not just for this class but all of my other ones as well. "

    Corey, Student, Pikes Peak Community College

  • "The eight life lessons Taulbert and Schoeniger describe are timeless examples of the power of entrepreneurship to overcome adversity and achieve independence, regardless of one’s circumstances."

    Carl J. Schramm, President & CEO, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

  • "If you are interested in starting a business, the book makes it easy, but for people who are not interested in starting a business, there are so many messages in the book that are easy and so impactful. Reading a book about someone who is marginalized and who has grown beyond it, is a message that everyone can benefit from."

    Melissa Marts, Executive Director, Women’s Resource Agency