Professor talking to students in a hallway.

Center for Free Enterprise


Center for Free Enterprise logoThe Center for Free Enterprise reconnects business education to human flourishing and provides student engagement and rigorous education about the principles and institutions needed for free individuals to flourish with dignity in a civil society.

The Center will be a regional and national leader in free enterprise student engagement.

 Free enterprise exists where the rule of law, limited governance, and free markets intersect. It is based on the philosophy of individualism and freedom where individuals can utilize their inherent creativity to improve the lives of others.

The Center will:

  1. Educate students about the necessary conditions for free enterprise;

  2. Foster the ideals of the moral nature of free enterprise;

  3. Communicate vital relationship between free enterprise and human flourishing;
  4. Engage in impartial scholarship investigating the role institutions play in supporting a free civil society.

The Center will also engage in impartial scholarship investigating the role social norms, political institutions, legal institutions, and economic institutions play in supporting a free civil society through maintain a free enterprise system.

The Center actively promotes the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, the rule of law, and economic freedom on campus and to the public at large

Summer Program in Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise

June 12–16, 2016

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Or just interested in business and how the free-market works?Then be part of Florida Southern College’s Summer Program in Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise!

Apply Today

Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise is an initiative to help students understand and appreciate the important role free enterprise plays within the American economy.


Monday – Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Photo: Dr. Derek Yonai

Dr. Derek Yonai, JD, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Free Enterprise

Photo: Meredith Prokuski

Meredith Prokuski
Program Coordinator, Center for Free Enterprise

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The PLE Lecture Series

The PLE Lecture Series is designed to highlight the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to sustain free enterprise. Nationally-renowned scholars, journalists and policy-analysts visit Florida Southern and share their insight and experience with students. Open to the public, this series is a great opportunity to meet experts in various fields.

2016 PLE Lecture Series Schedule

The Spring 2016 PLE Lecture Series will include the speakers listed below. All lectures will be held at 6:00 p.m. in the Hollis Room.

Thursday, January 28

Dr. J. Robert Subrick, Associate Director of the Gilliam Center for Free Enterprise and Associate Professor of Economics
James Madison University
“Beyond Piketty, the Pope, and the President”

Tuesday, February 23

Dr. Stephan F. Gohmann, Director of the John H. Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise and BB&T Distinguished Professor in Free Enterprise
University of Louisville
“Economic Freedom and Entrepreneurship”

Thursday, March 17

Dr. Michael C. Munger, Director of the Philosophy, Politics, & Economics Program and Professor of Political Science
Duke University
“Civil Rights and Property Rights”


Adam Smith Club

The Adam Smith Club serves as a community for students to discuss and share ideas that support economic freedom. Students are invited to engage with one another and faculty through activities such as a monthly book club, movie nights and liberty luncheons.

Book Club

Students meet with the Center’s director at local restaurants and coffee shops to discuss readings related to free enterprise. Books include Matt Ridley’s The Origins of Virtue: Human Interaction and the Evolution of Cooperation, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstien’s Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, and William Easterly’s The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Misadventures in the Tropics.

Movie Nights

Once a month, the Adam Smith Club hosts a movie night, followed by an informal discussion about how the film’s underlying themes relate to human nature and free enterprise.



Integral to the Center’s educational outreach are two majors dedicated to the study of free enterprise: the Bachelor’s of Science in Political Economy and the Bachelor’s of Science in Business and Free Enterprise. Political Economy examines the ways in which politics, law and economics work together to support a full-functioning free enterprise system. Business and Free Enterprise major places a unique emphasis on economic theory and political science, helping majors understand business transactions from a broader, social perspective. Read more about each major and its curriculum (see Political Economy and Business and Free Enterprise)


Introduction To The Philosophy Of Business

Many people have preconceived notions of what free enterprise means and what role, if any, business plays in our social order. This class challenges many preconceived notions of free enterprise by asking what is the philosophical relationship between individuals and the state and the philosophical relationship between individuals and society. The course uses economic methodology as the mental model to discuss the role information and knowledge play in coordinating individuals in society to improve the lives of others. In the process, the course questions the dangers of hubris and anti-intellectualism in business and asks whether business is inherently social.

Advanced Philosophy Of Business & Market Based Management

This course conducts an in depth examination of the institutional structure necessary for a flourishing social order. The course discusses the need to use economics as a mental model to understand market behavior and apply it to understanding the economy as an informational feedback mechanism allowing social cooperation and entrepreneurial activity. The course also discusses how societies provide quality assurance in the absence of government regulation. This requires the student to invoke basic economic theory, particularly supply and demand and opportunity cost analysis, and to apply the understanding of social science to business management.

Summer Program in Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise

This four day summer camp is for incoming high school juniors and seniors. Admitted students are invited to Florida Southern for an in-depth introduction to the Exploring Entrepreneurship Summer Program. The program is free to participants.


About the Center for Free Enterprise

The Center for Free Enterprise is an initiative to help students understand and appreciate the important role free enterprise plays within the American economy. A free enterprise system promotes economic prosperity by creating a favorable environment where businesses compete with minimum regulatory interference, allowing them to develop vigorously. Through extracurricular activities such as guest lectures, luncheons and off-campus seminar, students can explore the principles and institutions that sustain free enterprise.


Dr. Derek Yonai is the director of the Center for Free Enterprise and an Associate Professor of Economics at the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise. The driving force behind the Center, Dr. Yonai is responsible for developing and supervising Florida Southern’s new free enterprise education.

Dr. Yonai has written scholarly and popular articles about free enterprise economics, as well as given numerous interviews on the subject. His research focuses on legal history, law and economics, and religion and economics. He is currently the Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

Previously, Dr. Yonai served as the Lundy Chair of the Philosophy of Business in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and an Adjunct Professor at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University. He oversaw Campbell’s free enterprise education program and their economics program.

Dr. Yonai has a unique academic foundation rooted in economics and law. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of California at Irvine and graduated with honors from Whittier College School of Law. In addition, he earned a Master of Arts in economics and a Ph.D. from George Mason University, where he served as a research assistant to legendary economist Gordon Tullock.

Photo: Dr. Derek Yonai