Professor talking to students in a hallway.

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

One Celebration of Excellence: Two Historic Events
Thursday, October 8, 2015

This seminar will take place at Florida Southern College, Jenkins Field House in Lakeland, Florida.

Register 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

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.

2015-2016 PLE Lecture Series Schedule

Tuesday, September 15

6:00 PM, Hollis Room
Hugh Welchel, Executive Director
Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics
“Reweaving Shalom, the Christian’s Call to Change the World”

Thursday, October 29

6:00 PM, Eleanor Searle Drawing Room
Arthur Brooks, President
American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
“The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America”

Thursday, November 19

6:00 PM, Hollis Room
Ilya Somin, Professor of Law
George Mason University School of Law
“The Grasping Hand: Kelo vs. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain”


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 Design for Liberty by Richard Epstein, the Constitution of Liberty by FA Hayek, Freedom and the Law by Bruno Leoni, Coordination and Knowledge by Daniel Klein and The Science of Success by Charles Koch.

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

Students study the ethics of free enterprise, with a special emphasis placed on the morality of entrepreneurship and voluntary exchange activities. This course seeks to demonstrate the direct link between economic freedom and human flourishing, examining how public policies can negatively altar economic outcomes.

Advance Philosophy of Business and Market Based Management

This course is an in-depth study of the institutional structure necessary to sustain a functioning free enterprise system. Students will explore how markets can provide quality assurance in the absence of government regulation.

Summer Program in Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise

This three 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.

Law, Legislation, and Liberty Seminar

This seminar will take place at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore Hotel in Tampa, Florida. The Center will provide all seminar related materials and cover lodging and meals. Travel reimbursements will be provided to offset your travel expenses up to $700. A maximum of 18 students will be admitted.


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