The Center for Entrepreneurship History

The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) was founded in 1977 by Wichita State University professor Fran Jabara, who decided it was time to change society’s image of business people. With his own funds and university support, Jabara created the first program under the Center for Entrepreneurship, a workshop titled “Entrepreneurship: Your Future in Business.”

The Center expanded following the success of the initial workshop. In 1987, with a large donation from local entrepreneur and WSU alum Tom Devlin, a free-standing building was erected on campus to house the Center for Entrepreneurship, making WSU one of the first universities in the world to dedicate a building exclusively to entrepreneurship education. Not long after, academic programs in entrepreneurship were solidified.

The Center for Entrepreneurship serves more than 3,600 emerging and established entrepreneurs each year through community programs, such as Growing Rural Businesses, Kansas Family Business Forum, Practical Entrepreneur Training Tools and the Forum Series, and student engagement programs, such as the Shocker Business Plan Competition.

Through Wichita State University’s W. Frank Barton School of Business, the Center offers the state’s only entrepreneurship major, as well as an entrepreneurship minor for both business and non-business majors, a graduate certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation, and an MBA entrepreneurship concentration.