CSFE in Action

Speaker series

Free Enterprise Speaker Series | The Future of Jobs and the Minimum Wage

Free Enterprise Speaker Series | Economists Panel Discussion on the Future of Jobs and the Minimum Wage How are jobs changing in today's global economy? Will enough jobs be sustainably created for the next generations of workers? Do well-intentioned policies like...

Opioid and Addiction Town Hall – Oct 3, 2019

This town hall seeks to foster tangible steps that will make significant and lasting contributions to the well-being of the people affected by addiction in the Western North Carolina Region. Click here to watch the video on Facebook Click here to watch the video on...

An Out-of-this-World Chat with Charlie Duke

The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise, is excited to host An out-of-this-world chat with Charlie Duke: Apollo Astronaut, Christian Leader & Moonwalker on September 11, 2019. Charles Moss “Charlie” Duke Jr. is an American former astronaut, retired U.S. Air...

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...

Race Inequality: A Discussion with Steve Ha and Samuel Myers on Race Neutrality

Free Enterprise Speaker Series presents "Race Inequality: A Discussion with Steve Ha and Samuel Myers on Race Neutrality." A discussion presented by Dr. Steve Ha, and Dr. Samuel Myers at Western Carolina University. Watch a livestream of the event below:

Building Success with Jeff Percival

On Februrary 6, 2019, The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise hosted Jeff Percival of Percival Enterprises for a workshop on success. The event was cohosted with Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda chapter at WCU. Jeff Percival has spent the last...

Dr. Craig Richardson: Bus Stop Jobs

On November 12, 2018, The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise is presented our third installment of the 2018-19 Free Enterprise Speaker Series, Bus Stop Jobs: A Film-screening and Discussion about Poverty and Economic Mobility in North Carolina. The public event...

Dr. Loren Lomasky—Your Vote: Is Democracy in Decline?

On October 25, 2018, the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise presented our second installment of the 2018-19 Free Enterprise Speaker Series, Your Vote: Democracy in Decline. Presented by Professor Loren Lomasky, who considers himself a Churchillian democrat, this...

University Distinguished Speaker Series: Ken Langone

On October 22, 2018, the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise hosted Ken Langone. The event was held as part of the University Distinguished Speaker Series. For more information about the event, visit langone.wcu.edu

Dr. Siri Terjesen: Social Entrepreneurship Without Borders

Free Enterprise Speaker Series presents "Social Entrepreneurship Without Borders." A discussion presented by Dr. Siri Terjesen at Western Carolina University. Downloads:   m4a Audio format: Download Audio   mp4 Video format: Download Video   Play...

Events

Introducing CSFE’s Human Progress Research Initiative, and Calling 21-22 Faculty & Student Affiliates

What counts as economic progress in our region? That question is near and dear to so many, especially as we all continue adapting to pandemic disruptions. So, this year CSFE is launching a year-long research project combining different perspectives from various...

Advisory Board meeting set for Wednesday December 09

CSFE's Advisory Board will hold its Fall 2020 meeting virtually on December 9, 2:00-3:30 p.m. As a university center in the UNC System, CSFE is governed by University of North Carolina Policy 400.5[R] and by the Center's bylaws which were adopted in 2017. The Advisory...

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...

Race Inequality: A Discussion with Steve Ha and Samuel Myers on Race Neutrality

Free Enterprise Speaker Series presents "Race Inequality: A Discussion with Steve Ha and Samuel Myers on Race Neutrality." A discussion presented by Dr. Steve Ha, and Dr. Samuel Myers at Western Carolina University. Watch a livestream of the event below:

Building Success with Jeff Percival

On Februrary 6, 2019, The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise hosted Jeff Percival of Percival Enterprises for a workshop on success. The event was cohosted with Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda chapter at WCU. Jeff Percival has spent the last...

Free Enterprise Speaker Series hosting documentary, discussion

Western Carolina University’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series will host the documentary “Bus Stop Jobs” and hold an open discussion about poverty and economic mobility in North Carolina on Monday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m. in the A.K. Hinds University Center theater. The...

Dr. Craig Richardson: Bus Stop Jobs

On November 12, 2018, The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise is presented our third installment of the 2018-19 Free Enterprise Speaker Series, Bus Stop Jobs: A Film-screening and Discussion about Poverty and Economic Mobility in North Carolina. The public event...

Dr. Loren Lomasky—Your Vote: Is Democracy in Decline?

On October 25, 2018, the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise presented our second installment of the 2018-19 Free Enterprise Speaker Series, Your Vote: Democracy in Decline. Presented by Professor Loren Lomasky, who considers himself a Churchillian democrat, this...

Cheerleader for capitalism visits campus as part of Distinguished Lecture Series

Someone currently enrolled at Western Carolina University will go on to have a significant career in the leadership of a major American company, predicts one of the country’s leading businessmen. “Mark my word,” said Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot, during a WCU...

University Distinguished Speaker Series: Ken Langone

On October 22, 2018, the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise hosted Ken Langone. The event was held as part of the University Distinguished Speaker Series. For more information about the event, visit langone.wcu.edu

In the News

Broadband investment would mean billions to NC, but there’s a holdup: Utility poles

To be included in today’s digital world, all North Carolinians need access to reliable, high-speed broadband. Yet, today nearly 472,000 in our state – primarily in rural communities – remain without broadband access, limiting their options to work, learn, pray,...

Our New Annual Report, 2020-21

Check out our new annual report, just released today! In the summer of 2020, as we sat down amidst those uncertain times to hash out plans for the 2020-21 academic year, I wrote the following vision statement for the Center: We produce high-impact research in three...

Recap and Video of “Helping the Community Helps Your Campus”

As summer settles in, we invite you to check out the recap (below) and video of our May 19 event, "Helping the Community Helps Your Campus: New and Replicable Ways Two University Centers are Impacting Their Communities." Craig Richardson and I are co-presenters. We...

CSFE as Hub and Platform: Cross-Disciplinary Research that Matters

As CSFE nears the end of its fifth year, the Scaled-Up Seminar and our Faculty & Student Affiliates programs have become two key programs. Together, these programs connect over 100 faculty and student researchers from different disciplines and colleges at WCU, and...

CSFE’s new study on Paramedics and the Pandemic

EMT's and paramedics have taken on profoundly new and different roles since the pandemic. Unlike singular and localized events, COVID-19 presented new challenges to Emergency Medical Services professionals. In response, these EMS professionals have upgraded their...

North Carolina’s Prospects for COVID-19 Economic Recovery: A Top-Down and Bottom-Up Assessment

North Carolina’s Prospects for COVID-19 Economic Recovery: Top-down and Bottom-up Assessments Emma Blair Fedison and Edward J. Lopez Click the Button Below to Download a PDF Version of this Issue Brief Executive Summary What are North Carolina’s prospects for making a...

Meet Jackson Déziel

Earlier this week CSFE announced our 2020-21 Faculty Affiliates, all of whom we are very excited about working with during this coming year. Today, we want to highlight one of our affiliates, Assistant Professor and Director of the Emergency Medical Care program at...

Introducing CSFE’s 2020-21 Faculty Affiliates

We are happy to introduce our CSFE Faculty Affiliates for 2020-21. Our goal with the Faculty Affiliates (FA) program is to gather the work of faculty and their students from various disciplines who are working on subjects related to our areas of support, especially...

Wrap up of Davis — Cawthorn Debate

The march to Washington for NC District 11 Congressional candidates Moe Davis and Madison Cawthorn made a stop Saturday night at WCU for the second of two scheduled forums hosted by local media. The candidates took turns answering and rebutting each other on questions...

Grant to fund COVID-19 economic impact study

The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise's research on the economic impacts of COVID-19 got a boost recently thanks to a grant from the NC Policy Collaboratory. The $109,000 grant will enable the Center to expand its ongoing research to cover all 23 western North...

Podcast

Podcast From the Archives: Virginia Postrel

Edward Lopez conducts an interview with Virginia Postrel on October 13th, 2016.

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."

Podcast S2, E3: Jeff Percival and Lindsey Elias

Dr. Edward Lopez continues this seasons' discussion with an interview of Jeff Percial of Percival Enterprises, and Lindsey Elias, President of Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda. They sit down to talk about Success.

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.

Podcast S1, E6: Ann Bennett

Dr. Edward Lopez and Center research assistant Ann Bennett discuss interdisciplinary studies at Western Carolina University.

Podcast S1, E5: Amity Shlaes and Roy Cordato

Dr. Edward Lopez hosts distinguished guests Amity Shlaes, four time NYT Bestseller, and Roy Cordato Senior Economist for the John Locke Foundation. Both parties discuss and share their views on the current state of tax reform.

Podcast S1, E4: Austin Brown

Dr. Edward Lopez and graduate student Austin Brown, discuss the Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Program at Western Carolina University.

Podcast S1, E3: Yue Hillon

Dr. Edward Lopez and Yue Hillon, professor of strategy and management at Western Carolina University discuss small and medium enterprises.

Interviews

How Restrictive Are North Carolina’s COVID-19 Policies?

WalletHub released the latest edition of its 50-state ranking on restrictive COVID-19 policies. Many of the variables used in the study are heavily controversial in public discourse, including masking and school opening. Each of the many variables the authors cram...

WNC breweries seeing impact of can shortage

A perfect storm is brewing for beer producers in the form of short supply vs. high demand when it comes to packaging their products. Manufacturers of aluminum cans used for canning beer and soft drinks are in overdrive trying to keep pace with increased demand.  A...

Local businesses and chains are feeling the effects of economic rebalancing

Several local and chain businesses in Western North Carolina have announced permanent closures in recent weeks as the economy continues to struggle with the impact of the pandemic. In its recent coverage, WLOS News 13 reached out to Center For the Study of Free...

Dr. Edward Lopez on the impact of COVID-19 on WNC small businesses

Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the economic shut-down as a result of COVID-19. In a recent interview on WLOS News 13, Center for the Study of Free Enterprise Director Dr. Edward Lopez spoke about the conditions affecting small business owners. Recent...

COVID-19 and Empty College Seats: Interview with Sean Mulholland

Our Associate Director Sean Mulholland has a new study on the college enrollment effects of COVID-19. He spoke recently with Shannon Watkins of The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal about the new research paper, “COVID-19 Prevalence and Empty College Seats.”

Catching up with Ann Bennett

We occasionally use this blog to catch up with our former students who are now onto great things. In this installment, we are “Catching up with Ann Bennett.” Ann is a 2018 graduate of WCU with an interdisciplinary degree in Spanish, Japanese, and economics. For the...

Catching Up with Alex Kanode

We occasionally use this blog to catch up with our former students who are now onto great things. In this installment, we are “Catching Up with Alex Kanode”. Alex is a 2016 graduate of WCU with dual majors in Sociology and International Studies and a minor in...

Speaker Previews

Preview Magatte Wade’s TEDTalk now. See her at WCU — October 27, 2020

Channeling her first-hand experience living and starting businesses in Africa, Europe and America, Magatte begins with the simple yet profound question: why are some countries rich, and others poor? Her unique approach to this age-old question connects the importance...

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