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Smith Center for Private Enterprise

About The Smith Center

The Smith Center for Private Enterprise Studies was established in 1991 through a gift from community leaders Owen and Erma Smith to what is now the College of Business and Economics at California State East Bay.

Since its inception, the intent of the donors, and the practice of the Smith Center is to provide programs that promote a better understanding of the free market system and limited government under the rule of law among the University community as well as the general public.

  • ''The most important thing we can teach students is an entrepreneurial perspective and the imagination and ability to think of things no one has thought of before.''- Professor Charles Baird, Founding Director, Smith Center

In the past year, the Smith Center has evolved to recognize the impact of technological advances combined with entrepreneurial ingenuity, which inevitably move the economy toward market solutions, replacing less efficient arrangements and creating value for businesses and society as a whole. The Smith Center sponsors activities that help the University recognize the changes and opportunities which arise from this process, aiming to be a thought leader on the economy of the future, on-campus and beyond.

In particular, the Smith Center facilitates class projects where students work on real problems faced by Bay Area companies (often start-ups), or identify firms that are pioneering market solutions (for example, as investment prospects). To support these activities, The Smith Center maintains close relationships with businesses and other organizations that promote entrepreneurship on and off-campus. The Smith Center also develops and delivers instructional material and research on market solutions, and participates in various forms in public debates.

Stay connected with the Smith Center by following on Facebook and Instagram.



Workshop Series

Smith Center and the UP! Club are excited to introduce their very first event in the START-IT-UP! series. Visit the our events page for all upcoming events and workshops.


 In fall 2019, the Smith Center launched a student entrepreneurship club called “Up!,” which will involve students of any major in learning about entrepreneurship. Planned programs this year include mixers, workshops, and presentations geared towards start-ups and students.

Check out the latest updates from the Up! Club by going to their Facebook and Instagram page.

Past Programs

Past lectures have included:

  • Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate, spoke on "Economic Freedom, Human Freedom, Political Freedom," on November 1, 1991.
  • William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, spoke on "Politics and Values in Education Reform," on December 3, 1992.
  • Lynn Martin, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, spoke on "The Political Economy of Women in the Workforce," on November 16, 1993.
  • The Honorable Robert H. Bork spoke on "Politics and the Constitution," on March 7, 1995. 
  • William Kristol, Editor of The Weekly Standard, spoke on "The End of Liberalism" on March 7, 1996.
  • Ward Connerly, Founder of the American Civil Rights Institute, spoke on "Eliminating Racial and Gender Preferences: the Road from California" on June 5, 1997.
  • Dick Armey, U.S. House Majority Leader, spoke on "Freedom and Responsibility: The Role Values Play in Shaping Public Policy" on May 29, 1998. 
  • Steve Forbes, Forbes Magazine, spoke on "The Next Millennium: An Agenda for the Rebirth of Freedom" on May 12, 1999.
  • Louis Navellier, CSUEB Alumnus, President of Navellier & Associates, Editor of the MPT Review and Blue Chip Growth Letter, spoke on "Three Easy Steps to Successful Investing and Current Market Outlook" on May 27, 1999
  • Scott Kriens, CSUEB Alumnus, CEO, Chairman & President, Juniper Networks, spoke on "The Internet Economy: Old, New or Irrelevant?" on February 28, 2002.

Smith Center for Private Enterprise

College of Business & Economics
  • 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
  • VBT Bldg.
  • Hayward, CA 94542
  • Phone: (510) 885-4331
  • Fax: (510) 885-4884
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