Sustainable Local Economic Development: Supporting Firms and Farms


   3 weeks


   7 May – 30 May 2018

Tuition fee




IHS application deadline   

   EU: 7 April 2018/non-EU: 7 March 2018**

Admissions information

   Requirements and application procedure

NFP information

   Procedure and deadlines



Abbreviation code

   LED 2018

Course information

   Desislava Yordanova 

Course coordinator

   Jan Fransen

* Please note that for EU participants, the VAT of 21% will apply. The tuition fee stated above is excluding the VAT.

** If you require a visa, we advise you to apply at least one month before the IHS application deadline.

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What will I learn?

How can we get our local economy to grow in an inclusive way? How do entrepreneurship and innovation affect local economy? What strategies are there to support local enterprises? Are your region's local economic policies driving sufficient investment to make it competitive?

Entrepreneurs and small businesses (firms or farms) are the backbone of local economy. Understanding the impact they have on its competitiveness is key to drafting policies that are effective but also inclusive. These policies should inspire social dialogue and bring together the community, businesses and government actors to support existing local capacities and make way for the development of new ones.

The course tackles the challenge of creating synergies between policies and their stakeholders in both rural and urban settings. You will be introduced to specific strategies and tools for creating and managing these processes from a multi-stakeholder perspective.

How will I learn?

The Local Economic Development course employs a blend of methods ranging from lectures, expert seminars on best practices and group discussions to on-site visits. Participants are encouraged to share their own experiences during the group and individual exercises. By the end of the course, you apply the newly obtained knowledge on your region’s local economy by preparing a strategic plan. 

Why on-site visits?

You’ll pay a visit to the Innovation Agency and explore first-hand the case of the Dutch Flower Cluster and value chain in “Westland”.  While on site you’ll learn how clusters operate in practice and how they impact the local economy. You’ll also enjoy a One Stop Shop for small enterprise development and collect valuable tips which you can apply when you return back home.

Am I suitable for this training course?

If you are  a government official (municipal, provincial or national), work for a chambers of commerce or an NGO or another agency involved in the development of local firms and farms and/or local economic policies this course is right for you. 


The course will be offered in collaboration with the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment. Established in 1952 as the International Institute of Social Studies by Dutch universities and the Netherlands Ministry of Education, it does research, teaching and public service in the field of development studies and international cooperation.

How to apply

Interested in participating in this post-graduate diploma course? Make use of the IHS online application system. Find out more about the application procedure and admission requirements.


If you are still searching for a sponsor, have a look at our section on available funding opportunities.

If your question is related to the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP), please refer to this webpage before inquiring further.