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Wilson Community College’s Small Business Center recently offered an eight-week Ice House Entrepreneurship Program — Small Business Edition in partnership with the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative and N.C. IDEA, which supported the program through a grant.
Launched on Sept. 4 in conjunction with the Wilson County Public Library, the program featured an experiential, problem-based learning course designed to inspire and engage participants in the fundamental aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset.
The inaugural course for Wilson was facilitated and expanded by Melissa Evans, Small Business Center director, to meet course participants’ needs.
“The attendees saw problems as business opportunities, tested their ideas and found additional knowledge from existing successful business owners who visited the class, as well as those whose stories were part of the class video lessons,” Evans said. “Additionally, attendees learned how to build their brand and understood that perseverance and determination are vital as they face future challenges on the road to success.”
Some students abandoned their initial business ideas in the feasibility stage and tested other business ideas, which they are currently pursuing. Two attendees who came into the program with established businesses found a new direction for expansion.
Kimberly Battle of A Step Ahead Realty said the Ice House class changed her mindset about entrepreneurship and led her to plan a podcast to engage her customers.
Megan Oteri of Brick Scholars, LLC, was inspired to develop new marketing materials and said that “anyone can be taught the entrepreneurial mindset.”
ELI is the creator of the Ice House Program, and ELI founder Gary Schoeniger is the co-author of the program’s companion text, “Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur,” a story that captures the essence of an entrepreneurial mindset and the opportunities it can provide.
The program combines more than 10 years of research with the firsthand experience drawn from a wide variety of successful “unlikely” entrepreneurs. Drawing on eight fundamental concepts, the course enables entrepreneurs with limited resources to identify, evaluate and transform new ideas into successful endeavors.
The next Ice House Entrepreneurship offering will be on Mondays, beginning on Jan. 27 and ending on March 16, at the Upper Coastal Plain Business Development Center, 121 Nash St. Those interested in new business ownership should complete a registration form in the SBC office located at the Lee Technology Center, 4815 Ward Blvd., by Jan. 15. Space is limited.
For more information, call the Small Business Center director at 252-246-1232.