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The Hague, International Institute of Social Studies - Netherlands – Postgraduate diploma in Sustainable Local Economic Development (SLED)

Managing multiple stakeholders in small and medium enterprise development

3 week Postgraduate diploma course


In an increasingly global economy, localities and regions come to the fore as the nest of enterprises, job creation and governance improvements. What strategies are conducive to local economic development? How do local governments support the private sector? How do civil society organizations fit in to ensure increasing welfare?

Target group

The course is intended for government officials and employees in business and non-governmental organizations that deal with private sector development or local economic development policies. Find out more about the ISS student body

This a joint programme of different institutes and departments of Erasmus University Rotterdam: the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) and the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS).

With globalization, the pursuit of local economic development has changed from a low-priority function of local governments to a central concern that encompasses the interests of multiple actors at local level. Local governments are faced with two major challenges that pull their attention in opposite directions: internationalization and decentralization. Internationalization operates selectively and only a limited number of actors are included in global networks in which competitiveness is central and restructuring is a constant. On the other hand, decentralization results from increased demand for public services and state responsiveness. These two trends guide stakeholders in weaving relationships of cooperation and competition in the search for opportunities to achieve sustainable local economic development.

The course explores the concept of local economic development, including community, enterprise and locality development. It analyses the functioning of business clusters and their position in global value chains. It discusses policies to facilitate local economic development.

By the end of the course participants will be able to understand, support and manage local economic development processes with multiple stakeholders.


For more information about the course, requirements and applications contact IHS