Leading for the Greater Good

As part of a public university, and as one of the nation’s leading centers of business education and expertise, we are uniquely positioned to act as a catalyst for growth throughout North Carolina.

The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise is where UNC Kenan-Flagler engages the world. Putting academics into action, the institute works with affiliated centers, business leaders and senior policymakers to stimulate innovative market solutions to vital economic issues.

NCGrowth — an affiliate of the institute — is one of our largest and most effective outreach programs, partnering with businesses, communities and other organizations at more than 400 sites to foster economic development and entrepreneurship. Created in 2012 with funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the Kenan Institute, NCGrowth serves economically struggling counties within North Carolina. Our dedicated staff and a corps of select graduate students are helping communities build for the future and create new job opportunities across the entire economic spectrum — in everything from renewable energy to foreign trade.

UNC Kenan-Flagler M.B.A. student Ben Holmes is just one example of how NCGrowth is making an impact on the rural economy in eastern North Carolina. Ben is helping a Robeson County tortilla manufacturer grow its enterprise and hire more employees within the community. “I am a true believer that working as a team, you will accomplish more — especially when a university is involved,” said Enrique Elizondo, founder of Tortillas Carolina. “I like to work with young people and hear their ideas. I think being part of NCGrowth has given Tortillas Carolina the opportunity to open its doors to a lot of people, so they’re aware of all that’s going on in the tortilla industry in North Carolina and all the benefits of buying a local product produced with local corn.”