Small Businesses and Corporate Governance by cqf19576


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August 15, 2007

    UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School Teams with Carolina Family-led
     Businesses to Introduce Corporate Governance in the Middle East

UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has successfully piloted the first-ever Arabic-
language curriculum for corporate governance in the Middle East. A three-person
faculty team from UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Charlotte traveled to Cairo this summer
to test the new curriculum. Dr. Nabil Elias of UNC-Charlotte, Dr. Jennifer Bremer
of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, and Dr. Tim Flood of
Kenan-Flagler’s communications team worked with the staff of the newly-created
Egyptian Institute of Directors to deliver the three-day curriculum to a group of 15
corporate executives, drawn from Egypt’s leading corporations, banks, and financial
market institutions.

The new curriculum uses case studies, small-group exercises, and discussion to drive
home the essentials of corporate governance and to introduce best practices in board
management, such as transparency, disclosure, shareholder rights, and the role of
the board in managing corporate strategy, risk, and succession.

The pilot test was the culmination of an intensive eight-month program of technical
assistance and training to support the new Institute, the first to target corporate
governance in the Middle East. The program, funded by a $280,000 contract with
the Ministry of Investment, included creation of a business plan for the new institute,
development of a core curriculum in corporate governance in both English and Arabic,
a training-of-trainers program in Cairo, and the curriculum pilot test. Three
professionals, slated to become the master faculty for the new institute, spent five
weeks in Chapel Hill and Washington, working with UNC faculty to develop the new

The course owes part of its success to hands-on expertise offered to the Egyptian
team by four local businesspeople. The four, tapped by the UNC faculty to give the
Egyptian team a sense of the real-world governance challenges faced by corporations,
met with the Egyptian trainers, participated in a dry run of the curriculum, and
offered advice on marketing and management.

The small business participants said they benefited, too, and came away with a
clearer understanding of how they can apply governance to their businesses here in
the U.S.

 “Participating in this course gave me real insights into how small businesses can use
corporate governance tools, such as advisory boards, to keep their strategy on
track,” said Lorana Price, CEO of Holy Cow Branding. “Small businesses face a lot of
the same challenges, whether they’re in Cary or Cairo,” added Lea-Ann Berst,
President of Sleddogg Marketing, who attended the dry run of the curriculum in
Chapel Hill. “Now I see how we can benefit from good corporate governance as
much as larger companies.”

UNC faculty expressed the hope that the new institute will help Egypt and other
countries in the region strengthen private sector approaches to development.
“Corporate governance is such a new concept in the Middle East,” noted UNC’s
Bremer, “that they’ve actually had to make up a new Arabic word for it. The launch
of this new institute sends a real message to the region and to the market about the
contribution that greater transparency and good governance make to growth. The
Egyptian team is really committed to making reforms like good governance work,
and we’re glad that UNC could support what they’re trying to do.”


About the Egyptian Institute of Directors (EIoD)
The Egyptian Institute of Directors (EIoD), an initiative of the Ministry of Investment
in collaboration with the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC),
will be formally launched as a membership institution for corporate directors in
January 2007. The mission of the EIoD is to spread awareness and application of
corporate governance among corporations, financial institutions, and other
stakeholders who deal with corporations in the Arab region. For more information
about the EIoD, please visit

About UNC’s Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise
The Kenan Institute offers knowledge, networks and solutions that help companies,
communities and countries manage the competitive challenges they face. The
Institute and its centers work on projects that help businesses turn obstacles into
opportunity, providing strategic help in visioning and business process strategy and
management, from logistics systems to new market strategy, trends forecasting to
executive education. The Institute and its centers work on projects that help
countries and communities identify their competitive strengths and develop
innovative strategies and lasting partnerships to achieve their goals. For more
information about the Kenan Institute, please visit

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