Center for Free Enterprise to increase research, faculty with new gift


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville College of Business announced today new funding that will allow its Center for Free Enterprise to continue to explore the role of entrepreneurship in advancing the well-being of society.

    The $2 million gift from the Joseph W. Craft III Foundation will help the four-year-old center expand its already robust research and teaching capacity by adding two tenure-track faculty members in entrepreneurship and up to five doctoral fellows, plus staff for the center, which is directed by Stephan Gohmann. In partnership with the Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship, the center will also examine ideas related to free enterprise through the lens of principled entrepreneurship.

    Craft, a native of Hazard, Kentucky, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky, is president, CEO and chairman of Alliance Resource Partners LP, the second largest coal producer in the eastern United States.

    “The Center for Free Enterprise is tackling seemingly intractable problems with a fresh perspective and innovative solutions,” said Craft. “It gives students the opportunity to work alongside university scholars to discover how the free enterprise system in the United States preserves our freedom and contributes to the prosperity to solve the challenges in their own lives, their communities and the world.”

    Since the center began operations in 2015, it has hosted speakers on topics such as criminal justice reform, the transformation of China, crypto-currency and entrepreneurship in Senegal. The center also hosts reading groups that attract students from across the university.

    “Our students benefit from the rich experiences the Center for Free Enterprise provides,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to inspire our community’s future business leaders through these generous gifts.”

    For more information, contact Gohmann at or 502-852-4844.


    Janet Cappiello covers student success for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since 2014.