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Kenan Institute 2022 Annual Theme: Stakeholder Capitalism
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Stakeholder Capitalism

There’s no escaping the growing interest in environmental, social and corporate governance investing, but not everyone agrees on how to define, measure or report the variety of factors considered under ESG. Professor Laura Starks of the University of Texas McCombs School of Business spoke on the subject in May at the Alternative Investments Conference, sponsored by the Institute for Private Capital. Starks’ keynote speech, highlighted here, examined the knowns and unknowns of ESG investing as well as new regulations that may be coming.

With more business leaders than ever before embracing stakeholder capitalism – or the belief that companies should work to benefit all stakeholders, not just shareholders – myriad questions have arisen about the concept’s viability and potential for impact. The Kenan Institute has been working to respond, and today we are excited to launch a new series exploring the most pressing issues surrounding stakeholder capitalism. Kicking off the series is this week’s Kenan Insight, which takes a deeper dive into the buzzed-about world of ESG investing. We hope you’ll check it out, and look forward to engaging with you on this topic and others throughout the series!

As long-standing leaders in sustainability, the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise are proud to host the University of North Carolina Sustainability Awards. These awards recognize the leadership of North Carolina Business in protecting and promoting the state’s natural resources.

The UNC Entrepreneurship Center will host its fourth and final fireside chat for the fall 2020 semester with Bill Spruill on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Fireside chats are a continuing series of talks hosted by Launch Chapel Hill and The Entrepreneurship Center. These conversations seek to showcase a broad range of entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their field, as well as introduce and connect these people to the Launch Chapel Hill and Triangle community.

Major strides have been taken in recent years to push toward more sustainable investing practices, yet it remains to be seen if such initiatives are actually meeting their goals. In this Kenan Insight, we look at the challenges of both implementing and measuring the effectiveness of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

Jul 29, 2020

Black Economic Futures

One of the long-standing damages of institutional racism in the United States has been a bleak economic outlook for African Americans. In this Kenan Insight, we ask whether today’s activism might prove to be a defining moment in turning the tide for Black economic futures, and if so, who will play the key roles in creating lasting change.

Research exploring investor reactions to sustainability has substantial empirical limitations, which we address with a large‐scale longitudinal financial event study of the first global sustainability index, DJSI World. The study highlights the importance of careful analysis and longitudinal global samples in making inferences about the financial effects of social performance.

We explore the effect of the interplay between a firm's external and internal actions on market value in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Specifically, drawing from the neo-institutional theory, we distinguish between external and internal CSR actions and argue that they jointly contribute to the accumulation of intangible firm resources and are therefore associated with better market value.

This paper conceptualises the array of social practices as a continuum of social innovation and empirically demonstrates variation not captured by legal designation. Using a survey from the US state of North Carolina, this paper examines how organisations across the continuum responded to the 2008 economic recession.