Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise


Advocating and nurturing free enterprise as the foundation of freedom through discovery and motivation of entrepreneurial spirit and capacity.

The Kirby Center encourages and enables students, faculty, staff and community members to:

  • Launch and run the businesses of the future;
  • Understand the nature of free enterprise, value creation, and entrepreneurship through curricular and experience-based activities;
  • Develop, implement, and support programs that will enhance the entrepreneurial climate of Wilkes University and northeast Pennsylvania including specific efforts to support the redevelopment of downtown Wilkes-Barre;
  • Foster dialogue on the imperative of pursuing the constitutional goals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness through the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship.

Services Offered

  • Business Development
  • Marketing Development 
  • Intellectual Property Management
  • Financial Services
  • Product/Process Development Services
  • Industry and Community Outreach

All Services

Kirby Scholars Program

The Kirby Scholars Program provides current Wilkes undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on experience in their chosen discipline while serving as a resource for businesses at the Wilkes Enterprise Center.

The Kirby Scholar program consists of top-performing students from various fields, including: accounting, business development, communications, digital design and media art, education, engineering, entrepreneurship, marketing, and science. These students undergo a rigorous selection process involving a review committee of field-specific faculty, Kirby Center staff, and the executive-in-residence. Kirby Scholars provide services to the businesses at the center and at the business incubator, and in turn receive valuable experience in their field of study and formal recognition of their work.

View Kirby Scholars


Founded in 1993, the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship is dedicated to teaching the principles of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. As an independent Center, affiliated with the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership at Wilkes University, the Center serves the entire University and region of northeast Pennsylvania.

The Center has a rich history of activities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students including special lectures and seminars, sponsorship of the University's Enactus team (formerly SIFE), and support for student business owners to stress the real world application of classroom material.

New Beginnings

In July 2014, the Kirby Board of Managers appointed a new director, Rodney S. Ridley Sr., Ph.D., with a vision to move the Kirby Center forward, maintaining the Center's founding goals while continuing and expanding the work of his predecessors. Ridley envisions the Center having the same relative economic impact on the greater Wilkes-Barre area as larger institutions have on their host cities. His vision focuses on three main areas: education, business development, and community resource.

The Center has since created a Technology Transfer Office, the Wilkes Enterprise Center (business incubator) and an Office of Industry & Community Outreach to marry the assets of Wilkes University with needs in the area business community. The Allan P. Kirby Center maintains a close working relationship with the other Wilkes Centers of Excellence which include the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Family Business Alliance (FBA), and the Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development.

Interested in our services? Want to become a client?

Register with our eCenter sign up form!

Businesses that are ineligible for becoming a client are regulated lending institutions, real estate investment businesses, and any store which principle business is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption. The eCenter sign up and survey entries do not guarantee acceptance to the center or incubator space.

Sign Up Online

Allan P. Kirby Center Building

Activity Reports