The Akron Urban League is preparing a group of people to become entrepreneurs through a new program.
The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program is based on a book by Clifton Taulbert that includes eight life lessons - lessons that could help bring success to a small business owner, but also to anyone else. Facilitator Kim Lee says the program includes plenty of practical, "how-to" information as well. For example, the Ice House concept will encourage would-be entrepreneurs to test their ideas before trying to write a business plan.
"It's kind of to look for the passion in what you're doing and then also to seek out things that people will buy in on," said Lee. "If you don't have a buy-in, you can't really sell your product."
Lee says the Akron Urban League also hopes that at least 10 of the approximately 50 participants, who started with an orientation January 12, will actually launch a small business. She says another 20 should take the lessons they learned to help them make some kind of major change.
The entrepreneurship program falls under the Minority Business Development Center, which provides related and other services to the community. Director of Minority Business Development Center and VP of Operations Michael Davis says the facilitator training session reminding him of ways to trim his personal budget.
"I even brought some of those lessons here on the job," said Davis. I just wanted to be a better leader to my staff."
A grant is paying for the first group to particiapte in the program.