UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Shaping Leaders, Driving Results

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise is a research and consulting organization based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

It's the place people, businesses and communities come to learn where their world is heading and how they can compete and thrive using their own unique assets and aspirations.

What sets us apart are:

  • Our people — Exceptionally bright individuals and true thought leaders, our scholars conduct leading-edge research and, most importantly, know how to apply the knowledge they discover to create positive change.
  • Our work — We help clients and students understand the dynamic forces shaping the global marketplace and how to take competitive advantage using innovative, practical and sustainable solutions.
  • Our Community— Part of a top-ranked business school and research university, we offer access to intellectual resources, global networks and partners around the world. We are a neutral place where business, government, academic and nonprofit leaders convene to examine critical issues and develop reasoned, knowledge-driven strategies to address them.

Organization and Management

We pursue research, projects and initiatives through five core centers, each focused on specific areas of business and community competitiveness, and through partnerships with other centers and affiliates at UNC, UNC Kenan-Flagler and around the world.

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Visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Hawkins Kenan created the Kenan Institute in 1985 to promote collaboration among business, government and academia to promote the growth of private enterprise worldwide and use private-sector resources to serve the public interest.

Nearly three decades later, the impact of the institute's research and initiatives is visible in thriving communities and companies from the rural North Carolina to the Greater Mekong Sub-region of Asia.

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The institute receives core operating support from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, which established the institute along with the William R. Kenan Jr. Fund.

Funding for research projects and institute initiatives comes from grants and contracts with companies, foundations, government, educational and economic development agencies and nonprofit organizations and from individual donors.

More on our clients and funders