Center for the Study of Free Enterprise

Dedicated to providing economics research and education to the students, faculty, and community of Western Carolina University.

Who We Are

Launched in 2017 as a part of Western Carolina University, the Center for Study of Free Enterprise (CSFE) supports our mission  through scholarly inquiry and community engagement. We focus particularly on the areas of economic development, applied research, and free enterprise. We provide research support, student scholarship, teacher training and much more in an effort to promote interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration among faculty, students, and community members.

What We Do

We work to enrich lives in our region by supporting scholars, offering free educational activities for our community, and providing easy-to-access information on public policy and the role of free enterprise in a flourishing society. Explore our current projects, read more about specific issues affecting our region, and find out how to submit your own idea for funding.

For Students

CSFE offers scholarships, fellowships, post-baccalaureate opportunities, and educational lectures for students

Scholarships and Fellowships >>

About Us >>

For Faculty

Access information, tools, and classroom materials / lesson plans designed for educational professionals of all levels.

Educational Resources >>

Submit an Idea for Funding >> 

For the Community

CSFE offers grants to individuals hoping to advance economic understanding through peer-reviewed research and public promotion.

Current Work and Publications >> 

Upcoming Events >>

The Director’s Blog

Thoughts from our Founding Director, Dr. Edward Lopez, and other invited contributors. 

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the Fireside Chat with Ken Langone

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the Fireside Chat with Ken Langone

Business icon, philanthropist, and Cashiers resident Ken Langone is coming to WCU for a fireside chat on Monday October 22 from 5:00-6:15 p.m. Here are five reasons to check it out. 1. A great story. Ken grew up poor in Long Island and rose to business success with a...

Ken Langone: Up Close and Personal

On Monday October 22, CSFE is hosting business icon and philanthropist Ken Langone as he visits WCU for the first time. Ken and I will do a fireside chat to discuss stories and ideas from his new memoir, I Love Capitalism: An American Story. I hope that people who...

Siri Terjesen at Free Enterprise Speaker Series

I have been organizing the Free Enterprise Speaker Series (FESS) since I arrived here at WCU in 2012. I inherited it from my good friend Steve Miller, who was on faculty here with me for three years and is the reason I moved here from San Jose State. Over the years...

Podcast S2, E2: Dr. Craig Richardson

Dr. Edward Lopez continues this seasons’ discussion with and interview of Dr. Craig Richardson, as they discuss poverty, economic mobility, and Richardson’s latest film: Bus Stop Jobs.

Podcast S2, E1: Dr. Siri Terjesen

Dr. Edward Lopez sparks a new season of discussion with Dr. Siri Terjesen, as they discuss her global research and studies about people starting social enterprises.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.