Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

About the Kenan Institute

Knowledge. Application. Change.

Since 1985, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise has encouraged cooperative efforts among privately owned businesses, higher education and government. More than a “think tank,” we find ways to connect people and organizations, create opportunities and resources, and accelerate the achievements of our partners. Our work currently centers on helping innovative entrepreneurs, supporting North Carolina economic development, and building bridges with other educational institutions for research activities.

Core operating support from the William R. Kenan Jr. Fund—along with grants and outside contracts—allow us to pursue research and consulting in a non-partisan setting. As part of the top-ranked UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, we have access to intellectual resources, global networks and partners around the world. Our seasoned scholars use these connections to apply their leading edge thinking to real-world challenges. Kenan-Flagler business students, along with many other students on campus are an important resource and are active participants in many of our programs.


Elevating North Carolina as a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship


  • Increase UNC-CH entrepreneurship
  • Expand multi-organization research translation
  • Leverage intellectual capital for North Carolina economic development