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


MBA Kenan Scholars Present Culmination of Their Research

The scholars presented summaries of their research to a full room at the Kenan Center on Wednesday, December 6. In all, audience members learned about nine projects, from measuring the cost of renewable energy options to determining whether a farm machinery company’s products are suited to the agricultural environment of Zambia. Read More


Kenan Institute Explores the Financial Impact of the Opioid Crisis

Each day, 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose. For Americans under the age of 50, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death. As grim as these statistics are, they only hint at the devastating effect of the nation's opioid crisis. In addition to a record number of lives lost, opioids are destroying families, workplaces, and communities around the country, and taking a steep economic toll on existing systems. Read More


Kenan Institute Data Helps Reveal Top Revenue-Growth Life Sciences Companies in the Triangle

The Triangle Business Journal recently ranked Triangle-based, publicly-held life sciences companies by their most recent annual revenue growth. Greg Brown, Kenan Institute director, helped compile the data, which focused on companies with at least $200 million in assets and 30 or more employees. Read More


Jim Johnson Discusses Retirement Decision Factors in AARP Article

A recent article by AARP compares the tax landscape in North Carolina with surrounding states, and discusses how North Carolina tax breaks for older residents fall short of those offered by other states, such as South Carolina. The article quotes Jim Johnson, director of Education, Aging, and Economic Development for the Kenan Institute, on what older Americans consider when choosing where to spend their retirement years. Read More


Digital apps. Neural networks. Omnichannel analytics. Pepperoni. Which of these things is not like the others?

The Kenan Institute hosted four dozen students from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business to hear the Domino’s story from Doyle and Ritch Allison, president of Domino’s International (and Kenan-Flagler alumnus), on Wednesday, November 29, at the Kenan Center in Chapel Hill. Read More