Sustainable Local Economic Development - Supporting Firms and Farms, Certificate

  • Application Deadline
  • 23 days
  • English (schedule IELTS)
University rank #72 (WUR) ,
Regions are faced with two major trends in opposite directions: internationalization and decentralization. Internationalization creates a need for regions to compete in order to attract and retain business, people and finance. This Sustainable Local Economic Development - Supporting Firms and Farms course is offered at Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Decentralization is a means to cope with this complexity and a reaction to growing demands for greater responsiveness and sustainability by citizens, clients and consumers. Due to decentralization, competitiveness of a region can be improved by local actors.

The central concern for sustainable local economic development is to create synergies between the policies and interventions of firms, farms, the state and civic actors such as business associations, NGOs and the Chamber of Commerce. These come together around specific opportunities for local firms and farms.

This Sustainable Local Economic Development - Supporting Firms and Farms course is offered at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Course objectives

By the end of the programme participants will have an increased knowledge about local firms and farms and their role in the local economy. Participants will be able to analyse the competitiveness of the local economy, especially looking at entrepreneurship, business development support, incubators, value chains, clusters and innovation systems.

They will be able to analyse policies and recommend instruments and strategies that support local firms and farms. The course draws on a wide range of case studies, ranging from smallholder farms in Uganda and farm co-operatives in Peru, to IT firms in Bangalore, handicrafts in Indonesia and a cluster of marble firms in Spain.


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.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date If you require a visa, we advise you to apply at least one month before the IHS application deadline.
  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 23 days
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Course curriculum

The programme consists of three in-class modules and an individual study 
  • Module 1: Introduction
  • Module 2: Small Enterprise Development
  • Module 3: Clusters and value chain analysis
For more information, please visit the course website.


The course is meant for government officials (municipal, provincial or national), representatives of private sector and farm organisations as well as researchers and employees of NGOs that are dealing or will deal with the development of local firms and farms and/or local economic development policies. 

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

The application process is done by the IHS. Interested in participating in this post-graduate diploma course? Make use of the IHS online application system. 

For more information, please visit the course website.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    2750 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2750 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 23 days.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    2750 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2750 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 23 days.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

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

Living costs for Rotterdam

  • 760 - 1270 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.