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 >>

Join Us for An Out-of-this-World Chat

On September 11th, 2019, we are excited to host Charlie Duke, Apollo Astronaut, Moonwalker & Community Leader.

Charles Moss “Charlie” Duke Jr. is an American former astronaut, retired U.S. Air Force officer and test pilot. As Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 16 in 1972, he became the tenth and youngest person to walk on the Moon. The latest installment of the Free Enterprise Speaker Series, this one-night only event will take place in the Bardo Arts Center on Western Carolina University’s campus.

Use the button below to find our more information and to register. 

The Director’s Blog

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

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...

Guest Blog: Welcoming Jeff Percival

Guest Blog: Welcoming Jeff Percival

As President of Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda, I’m excited to both welcome Mr. Jeff Percival to WCU, and to partner with the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise. This semester, FBLA-PBL has devoted this semester to professional and...

Catching up with Austin Brown

Catching up with Austin Brown

We’ll occasionally use this blog to catch up with folks who have worked on past Center-supported projects. In this post, we catch up with Austin Brown. Austin graduated from WCU in 2016 with a degree in Special Studies, an option that lets WCU students set their own...

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.

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 33 years building, molding and creating a business that is a living entity.  He left teaching to start a training and development company, “Percival & Associates”.  After 7 years, he developed the Percival Enterprises’ User/Consultant Group, with over 25 experts in their field, from around the country.  This User/Consultant Group acts as a Resource to his clients and prospects.

As an Assessment & Development Company, Jeff has also created his “Success Track Tools” Division within PercEnt %.  These are proprietary tools which were designed to keep you “On Track & In Focus”. He uses these tools during training and speaking engagements.

Jeff is also an author.  He has written 3 books: “8 Weeks to Successful Employment”, “Job Search Survival Kit”, “Your Combination for Success” and co-authored “Work Makes Me Sick! (Prescribe Something Quick!)” with Kathy Bornheimer.  He just finished writing “Creating Artful Sales”.

WCU’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series is a forum for the campus and community to explore all points of view on important issues of the day, hear from renowned experts from a variety of fields and understand multiple perspectives.

Watch our livestream of the event below.

Building Success with Jeff Percival

The Full Video from our recent workshop: Building Success with Jeff Percival.

Posted by Center for the Study of Free Enterprise on Friday, February 15, 2019

Upcoming Events

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

    September 11 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
  2. Opioid & Addiction Crisis Town Hall

    October 3 @ 8:30 am - 2:30 pm
  3. One Book Author: Celeste Headlee

    October 28 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm