for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Davidson College

for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
at Davidson College

10 members of the Ice House cohort stand for a group photo

Mindset Matters: How the Hurt Hub’s Ice House Program is Shaping Local Entrepreneurs

“It’s not easy being a mom and entrepreneur,” a member of our cohort shared as she told a story of attending a business event with her toddler in tow. Nods of understanding swept the room as others chimed in with experiences of balancing the demands of running a business and raising children. 

It was week three of class and while not everyone in our entrepreneurship cohort could relate to the challenges of parenthood, there was plenty of discussion throughout the evening to relate to. “There are people back where I am from, who don’t even believe that I am getting an education right now,” one of our international students revealed, “it’s just not what women do.” That evening our group was reflecting on what it looks like to take action and acquire knowledge to successfully run a business; just two of the eight life lessons we were exploring over the course of a short five weeks in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP).

Developed by the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, IHEP has been widely adopted in the state of North Carolina. Whereas other programs focus on the nuts and bolts of starting a business, IHEP concentrates more on the foundational mindset one needs. Mindsets such as recognizing the power of choice, identifying opportunity, and the importance of persistence are woven throughout the program’s coursework. As the Hurt Hub considered making IHEP part of its Amplify Davidson small business support services, we recognized the importance of bringing in a respected leader of the Davidson community to facilitate these mindset conversations. That’s where Cherese Spand came in.

Instructor stands next to a dry erase board.
Cherese Spand

A long-time entrepreneur herself and Davidson resident for the past six years, Cherese was the perfect fit, bringing in business wisdom from years of owning hair salons, a bridal boutique, an event planning business, and currently running a financial services company. ”I’ve always had a passion for community and education,” she reflects. “The best feeling to have is to use my skills, education and talents to share and enrich the lives of others. To see the transformation in the students makes my heart glad.” Her passion proved to translate well as one of our cohort members, Mary, highlighted, ”Cherese’s business acumen guided thoughtful conversations and her approachability gave us an encouraging space to be ourselves, ask questions, and think critically.” Shelli agreed, “Kudos to Cherese for making the training fun, educational, and even therapeutic.” 

Using the book, Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur as its main text, IHEP takes a strong storytelling approach to bring forward the different mindsets entrepreneurs need to take on to be successful. “This program has completely shifted my mindset regarding who is capable of being an entrepreneur and the skills it takes to be one. Meaning, entrepreneurship is not only reserved for the wealthy, connected, or MBA holders, it’s open to anyone willing to do the strategic work day after day,” Mary reflected. Fredricka, owner of Sign Here Notary Services, further emphasized, “The book’s principles of recognizing opportunities, taking responsibility, and maintaining a relentless focus on action resonated deeply with me.” 

A woman stands at the front of the classroom as a seated learner listens
Fredricka Allen and Tyler Ragland

At the end of the five weeks, our cohort of 11 wasn’t ready to say goodbye, and made plans to stay connected through a monthly accountability meet up. Latoya, owner of a bread making business shared, “I have learned so much in the past 5 weeks and I’m still learning. This is just the start for me….I know it’s not always going to be easy, but I’m at a point in my life that I will not stop or give up on myself or my dreams.” Tyler, who is working on a couple of business concepts, echoed her enthusiasm, “I look forward to continue to use the things I learned here in my personal life as well as in my business. I truly think this is the beginning of something GREAT.”  

While the Hurt Hub looks forward to staying connected to this first cohort of entrepreneurs, our vision is to reach more community members looking for support in their early stages of business. When asked who she hopes to see take part in the program in the future Cherese thoughtfully remarked, “All of those who think they cannot, AND all of those who think they can.” 

If you know someone in the Davidson, NC area who might benefit from the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program, our next cohort begins Wednesday August 21. For more information, and to register please visit

Want to support members of our cohort? The following list of businesses are ready to take on new clients:

Activate the Awesome

Owner: Michelle Mckown-Campbell 

Description: I am a professional speaker, confidence coach and Awesome Activator. I provide creative workshops, coaching and Keynotes for individuals and teams and organizations that enable them to Discover, Connect and be Inspired by their Tapestry of Awesome already held within and create a sense of belonging.

Learn More: 

CMP Notary Services LLC 

Owner: Catherine Pleitez

Description: We do loan signings, estate planning, and general notary work in Charlotte, NC and surrounding counties.

Learn More:  704-533-0737

Sign Here Notary Services

Owner: Fredricka Allen

Description: Fredricka Allen provides convenient and flexible notarization solutions by traveling to clients’ locations. This service ensures that documents can be notarized at a time and place that suits the client’s needs, whether at home, work, school, or another preferred location. Sign Here Notary Services offers a wide range of services including the notarization of legal documents, real estate forms, loan documents, and more providing an efficient and accessible solution for all notarization requirements. We specialize in apostille documents, ensuring that your international paperwork is properly authenticated and recognized abroad.

Learn More: 929-250-7407

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