FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 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 curriculum. 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 www.eiod.org. 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 www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/KI/.
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