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 >>

Opioid and Addiction Town Hall

Thursday October 3, 2019, in the A.K. Hinds University Center, 3rd floor Grand Room
8:15am until 2:30 pm.

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

We hope you will join us as representatives from across our area, state and the southeast provide a forum for discussion and progress. We will also have a panel of experts from Western Carolina University covering a wide variety of topics impacting these issues.

The Director’s Blog

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

Opening Doors for New Opportunities

I could have never imagined all that I could accomplish in a year and the doors that would open due to the experiences allowed to me because of the funding and mentorship of the CSFE Pre Doctoral program. I started my journey with a trip to the Green Sport Alliance...

A Great Source of Knowledge and Inspiration

During my final semester of WCU’s MBA program, I worked with Dr. Yue Hillon and Dr. Steve Ha on meaningful projects that helped both individual businesses in WNC and the community as a whole. Although I had always had an inclination toward research, these projects and...

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...

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

  1. One Book Author: Celeste Headlee

    October 28 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  2. Why People Die From Suicide: Guest Speaker

    November 6 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  3. The Global Spotlight Series

    November 7 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm