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 >>

Watch the full video now! 

On April 24th, we welcomed Phil Drake, software pioneer, angel investor, community leader, and founder of Drake Enterprises. This special one-night event included a discussion of his experiences in entrepreneurship, investing, and his thoughts on the system of economic freedom that enabled his, and countless other success stories in America. 

The Director’s Blog

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

My CSFE Story – A Once in a Lifetime Experience

My CSFE Story – A Once in a Lifetime Experience

y CSFE story actually started in 2017 when the Center was just getting off the ground. I had established a relationship with my Business Strategy professor, Dr. Yue Hillon, and we wanted to do some research together so I could start exploring what...

Congratulations to Lindsey Elias!

Congratulations to Lindsey Elias!

Here recently, the students of Future Business Leaders of American-Phi Beta Lambda have been sharing a lot of their successes—and rightly so. These students are outstanding in more ways than I can enumerate here. But during a recent chat with her, I learned that...

Improving Lives, Step-by-step

Improving Lives, Step-by-step

This week has been exciting for us at the Center for many reasons, but I am most excited about the launch of our Issue Brief Series. Since we launched CSFE, our mission has always been focused on students, faculty, and community. Our Issue Brief series, I hope, will...

A Special Congratulations to Jonathan Holden

A Special Congratulations to Jonathan Holden

The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise is excited to extend our congratulations to Jonathan Holden on his completion of the President Level of the Career and Membership Achievement Program (CMAP) in Phi Beta Lambda. CMAP is a comprehensive individual membership...

Podcast S2, E5: EPIC Innovation

Dr. Edward Lopez continues this seasons’ discussion with an interview with EPIC Innovation, a student-professor collaboration group on the Western Carolina University campus known as Elevating Potential Imagination and Collaboration.

Podcast S2, E4: Steve Ha & Samuel Myers

Dr. Edward Lopez continues this seasons’ discussion with an interview of WCU Faculty Steve Ha & his guest Samuel Myers on their new book “Race Neutrality.”

A Conversation with Phil Drake

The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise, along side the Division of Academic Affairs at Western Carolina University welcomed Phil Drake, software pioneer, angel investor, community leader, and founder of Drake Enterprises, on April 24, 2019.

Drake took the stage with Dr. Edward Lopez, Director of the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise for a conversation about his experience in entrepreneurship, investing, and the system of economic freedom that enabled his, and countless other success stories in America.

The latest installment of the University Distinguished Speaker Series, this one-night only event took place in the Blue Ridge Conference center on Western Carolina University’s campus.

Upcoming Events