Fundamental to our belief in a free society is an economic system described as “free enterprise” which is dependent upon individual initiative. This encompasses social and ethical standards derived from this system and embodied in a democratic society.

The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise fosters mutual understanding and appreciation between members of the private enterprise sector, the academic community, and their government, and to encourage cooperative efforts among these groups.

The Kenan Institute serves these communities as a national center for scholarly research, joint exploration of issues, and course development all associated with the principal theme of preservation, encouragement, and understanding of private enterprise.

Organization and Operations

The Kenan Institute is part of Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and draws on the School’s administrative and faculty resources. It offers a number of programs conferences and seminars which bring together the business and academic communities at both the state and national levels.

The Institute works in conjunction with affiliated centers to provide an ongoing forum for information and interaction between business and academia. The Institute involves scholars and executives from across the nation who, having increased their mutual understanding, can work effectively together for the good of the free enterprise system.

Through its education and research activities, the Institute will provide practical solutions to problems faced by private enterprise, contribute to shaping business school curricula, and foster an appreciation of private enterprise in other academic fields from which future generations of business, academic and government leaders will emerge.

Latest News


Executive Director Mark Little Featured on WUNC’s The State of Things

Mark Little, executive director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and director of the institute-affiliated center NCGrowth, was recently featured on an episode of WUNC radio's The State of Things. Mark and Karla Slocum, director of the Institute of African American research, talked with host Frank Stasio about the impetus for the Black Communities Conference, and how black communities are collaborating to preserve and create vibrant futures for themselves. Read More


Kenan Institute Hosts Global Trade, Global Trade-Offs Conference

On Friday, April 13, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise hosted its inaugural, day-long Global Trade, Global Trade-Offs: Emerging Challenges in International Commerce Conference at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. The day’s events featured plenaries, panel discussions and Q&A sessions with highly distinguished members of business, economics and academia focused largely on the rapidly evolving landscape of international trade. Read More


Kenan Institute Honors Two MBA Candidates with Annual Awards

The Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise conferred its top student honors to two UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School MBA candidates during a ceremony attended by staff, faculty, students and members of the Kenan Institute Board of Advisors Thursday, April 12. Read More


Blackstone’s Schwarzman to UNC Students: Here’s How You Make a CEO

A Triangle Business Journal article on the Kenan Institute’s Dean’s Speakers Series featuring Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman last week. Schwarzman and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford discussed the makings of a CEO in their Kenan Center fireside chat before students, faculty, staff and UNC Chapel Hill community members. Read More


Finance and Philanthropy: An Afternoon with Steve Schwarzman

UNC Kenan-Flaber Business School Dean Doug Shackelford conducted a fireside chat with the Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder in front of an audience of more than 200 on Wednesday, April 4, as part of the Dean’s Speaker Series. Read More