Skip to main content

Fostering Collaboration & Entrepreneurial Study

June 21, 2023
Upshot of Econ PhD student Sadek Showcat

At the heart of the Center for Free Enterprise’s mission is a commitment to research that examines the importance of entrepreneurship and enterprise to human flourishing. 

The CFE Fellows Program plays a pivotal role in advancing the mission by empowering both faculty and students to realize research goals, while also furthering their academic pursuits. The fellowships provide financial support, as well as mentorship and collaborative opportunities for participants.

CFE PhD Fellows

The Free Enterprise PhD Fellows program is open to students in the entrepreneurship doctoral program at the College of Business. “Our fellows are doing great research examining various aspects of entrepreneurship both theoretically and empirically,” said CFE director Steve Gohmann. “Although they are examining different areas, in almost all cases they are finding that removing barriers to entrepreneurship leads to greater human flourishing.”

Thanks to the fellowship, third-year PhD student Sadek Showkat has conducted field research work in refugee camps in Bangladesh. “Through my visits to these camps, I have been able to collect both qualitative and quantitative data, which have been crucial in informing my research on how entrepreneurship can foster well-being in socially and geographically isolated areas,” said Showkat. 

Showkat’s work exploring the entrepreneurial resourcefulness of the refugees was acknowledged when he was selected as one of only five business PhD students worldwide to receive a prestigious scholarship from the RRBM (Responsible Research in Business and Management). 

“Through valuable resources, mentorship, and research opportunities, Fellows like Sadek collect rare data, present findings at conferences, and make unique contributions to their fields,” said CFE assistant director Daniel Bennett. “The potential impact of Sadek’s work has been validated with his RRBM award.” 

CFE Faculty Fellows

The CFE Faculty Fellows program is open to all full-time University of Louisville faculty members. The goal is to engage “academic entrepreneurs,” while developing inter-disciplinary collaboration around creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship as a means of advancing the well-being of society. 

Isabel Botero, the George E. and Mary Lee Fischer Chair in Family Entrepreneurship in the College of Business is a 2022-2023 CFE Faculty Fellow. Her research focuses on business-owning families and how they prepare the next generation of family members to be involved in business operations. She calls the fellowship “very useful because it provides me the opportunity to present my research to family business owners and practitioners who consult business families.” Botero used her fellowship funding for travel to conferences, where she could engage with academics, families, and their advisors under one roof.

Associate Professor of Economics Elizabeth Munnich’s research focuses on health economics, particularly the quality and costs in ambulatory surgery centers as alternatives to hospitals. She utilized her fellowship support to hire an undergraduate economics student to provide research assistance. (The student) “made an invaluable contribution to my research, as she assembled and analyzed data about healthcare markets and asked great questions to move my projects forward,” said Munnich. She noted that the program generously supports research activities that would not otherwise be possible. “The opportunity for faculty and students to work together on research is an awesome experience, and one that really enhances more traditional classroom learning, as well as faculty research. “