Kauffman Foundation Launches Online Entrepreneurship Program

Kansas City, Missouri (PRESS RELEASE – July 13, 2011) – A new, inspiring online education program designed to engage students in the unlimited opportunities that an entrepreneurial mindset can provide launches today. Backed by the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship, the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program is an interactive online learning program that enables participants to learn from the firsthand experiences of successful real-world entrepreneurs.

Created through a collaboration with the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative and Pulitzer Prize nominee Clifton Taulbert, the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program is a two-part learning project:

The Book: Based on the personal experience of author Clifton Taulbert, Who Owns the Icehouse? is a powerful and compelling story that draws on the entrepreneurial influence and eight essential life-lessons Taulbert gained from his Uncle Cleve, an unlikely entrepreneur in the segregated South. More information about the book is available here.

The Course: Based on the eight life-lessons described in the book, the interactive online program combines narrated chalkboard presentations with video interviews and case studies featuring modern-day examples of those who, like Taulbert’s Uncle Cleve, have triumphed over hardship and adversity by embracing an entrepreneurial mindset.

In addition to the narrated chalkboard presentations, each lesson includes individual learning assessments, discussion topics and assignments that are designed to maximize comprehension while encouraging real-world application of the core concepts. More information about the course is available here.

“The Kauffman Foundation is proud to sponsor this powerful new education program,” said Thom Ruhe, director of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “Drawing on the experiences of real-world entrepreneurs provides a powerful model that can encourage and empower people from all walks of life.”

The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program already has garnered the attention of educators, community development groups and other organizations across the United States and throughout the world. A longtime leader in entrepreneurship education, Johnson County Community College has already embraced the program.

“The Ice House project has provided us with the vehicle to make our vision of an entry-level entrepreneurship course a reality,” said Professor and Department Chair Donna Duffey at the Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan. “Our goal has been to create a course that would introduce students to the true entrepreneurial mindset and its true economic and social context by studying the unlimited opportunities that an entrepreneurial mindset can provide. The Ice House Project is allowing us to meet this goal for our students.”

The course also includes access to an online entrepreneurial learning community that enables participants and facilitators to share their knowledge and experience with other entrepreneurs and educators within their own communities as well as others across the country and around the world.

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people’s eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. In addition, the Foundation focuses on initiatives in the Kansas City region to advance students’ math and science skills, and improve the educational achievement of urban students, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a college preparatory charter school for middle and high school students set to open in 2011. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets.

About ELI

The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, LLC (ELI) provides interactive online entrepreneurship education programs for individuals and organizations worldwide. Combining extensive research with practical knowledge and insight drawn from more than 300 hours of on-camera interviews, ELI is rapidly becoming a recognized leader in the field of entrepreneurship education. Its mission is to create inspired learning programs that deliver real-world impact. ELI’s clients include the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute as well as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Its programs are currently being deployed in more than 30 countries worldwide.

About Pulitzer Prize-nominee Clifton Taulbert

Clifton Talbert is an internationally acclaimed author, lecturer and thought leader on the critical issue of building community. Recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the nations’ outstanding entrepreneurs, Taulbert is best known for his books, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored and Eight Habits of the Heart: Embracing Values That Build Communities. Taulbert’s ability to connect with diverse individuals across a broad professional spectrum has introduced him to audiences from members of the United States Supreme Court to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies as well as educators around the world. Over the last 15 years, Taulbert’s insights on the power of community to ensure organizational effectiveness in 21st-century work and learning places have impacted organizations worldwide. Taulbert is especially known for his work with leaders and emerging leaders; helping them to embrace building community as a necessary force-multiplier for their organizations and understand their critical role in diversity leadership for the 21st century.


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