Our Work

Research, partnerships, and project support are just a few ways we're making an impact.

Speaker Series

Free and open to the public, we aim to give our community the chance to explore all points of view on issues of the day. We offer a forum for the campus and community to hear from renowned experts and understand multiple perspectives through civil, informed, and fruitful discourse.

Free Enterprise Speaker Series >>

Distinguished Lecture Series >>

Economics Education

As part of our mission to serve the community, we provide educators in WNC with professional development opportunities and in-classroom resources to help them teach financial and economics education to the next generation of scholars. 

Economics Education Resources >>

Upcoming Events >>

NC Data Dashboard

Our new, online information tool designed to provide easy access to recent economic trends in the counties of Western North Carolina and across the entire state to everyone from community-minded residents and college students conducting research to industry and business executives exploring possible locations for expansion.

NC Data Dashboard >>

Supported Research and Issue Briefs

In support of our mission to provide economics research and thought leadership focused on issues in economic development in our region, we sponsor students, faculty and community members in their scholarly pursuits. Through scholarly inquiry and policy analysis, we hope to fulfill our desire to be an interdisciplinary forum that supports Western Carolina University faculty, students, and community members to exchange ideas, engage in mutual outreach, and collaborate on applied research.

Upcoming Events

Previous Events

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...

In The News

To reduce overdose deaths, start in the local jail

“The criminal justice system operates on the principle that individual will is the sole determinant of behavior. If the defendant wants to stay out of jail, avoid a probation violation or make it to the next court date, then he’ll make it happen. This approach seems...

More than medicine needed to address opioid epidemic

“The profession of nursing is the most broadly educationally prepared group of health care professionals that can contribute a holistic perspective to address the complex needs of individuals, families and communities working to overcome this current crisis. For this...