At the William Davidson Institute, our work is driven by a vision of education: to create and disperse knowledge as part of a global conversation. This is why we pioneer educative innovations. Why we affiliate with some of the world’s finest faculty. Why we forge powerful partnerships. And why we share our research and outcomes.

WDI’s Education Sector partners with universities and organizations in emerging markets and advances their capacity to deliver world-class management education programs. We harness the latest thinking in education innovation and business models at the University of Michigan and apply it to management education in emerging markets through training and consulting projects.

Education Innovation: Because the Education industry is rapidly evolving, WDI’s Education Sector partners with units from across the University of Michigan that are exploring different models, tools, and technologies for delivering education. We test these new models in emerging markets through management education programs and consulting projects. We also manage two education centers of excellence, our Entrepreneurship Development Center and Global Virtual Learning Center.

World-Class Faculty: Our faculty affiliates are professors from leading business schools, including the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. All have global executive teaching experience.

Powerful Partnerships: We proudly work with a rich network of schools and partners, including the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia, Al Akhawayn University in Morocco, and the Zagreb School of Economics & Management in Croatia.

Extensive Experience: We’ve been delivering management education programs for clients in emerging markets since 1992, training more than 19,000 participants from thousands of companies and non-profit organizations around the world.

Check out our Capabilities Statement for more information and ways to collaborate.


For a list of our clients, click on the Collaborators button at left.

Consulting services

We help schools in emerging markets build their capacity to offer management education programs through improved curricula, faculty development, and the introduction of new pedagogical tools and techniques. For a menu of our educational consulting services, please click here.


We provide management education programs for clients in emerging markets: from custom and open-enrollment programs for local and multinational companies, to management training for government officials, to workshops for entrepreneurs.

Open Executive Education Programs: View our Open Enrollment Course Catalog to learn more about our executive education programs in strategy, sales management, marketing, finance, operations, entrepreneurship, leadership, HR, general management, social media, and more.

Custom & Grant Funded Programs: Click on the appropriate link below to learn more.

For more information about our Education Sector, please send an email message.

We partner with you to create a program that addresses your organization’s unique strategic needs. After gaining an in-depth understanding of your organization, we craft a program that enhances your capacity to deliver bottom-line results.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve crafted custom training programs for diverse multinational companies in emerging markets. Our clients have included Oracle, Whirlpool, US Steel, ABB, Vietnam National Coal & Mineral Industries, and many more.

General Management:

To hone managers’ cross-functional business skills, we offer a multi-part, company-tailored program in the areas of finance, accounting, marketing, strategy, HR and organizational behavior (with sub-specialties in leadership and change management). As part of the program, we can incorporate an internal consulting project. Professors will consult with your managers to identify areas for improvement within your company, then supervise teams as they create a strategic plan to address these issues.

focused skillbuilding:

To upgrade managers’ skills, we can design a program for you based on specific areas. Training sessions vary in depth of study and duration, depending on your needs. They include: finance, accounting, strategy, marketing, leadership development, change management, supply chain management, human resource management, and operations & logistics.

We provide business training through grants and in partnership with governments. Clients include Goldman Sachs’ sector to advance women-owned businesses in emerging markets, 10,000 Women, and the President’s Office of Rwanda.

Training areas include:

ENTREPRENEURSHIP – This cross-functional training program gives entrepreneurs and SMEs in emerging markets new tools for growing their businesses and expanding into new export markets. The program gives participants information they can apply immediately to their organizations. Program content includes: marketing, accounting, finance/risk analysis; human resource management, and negotiations

LEADERSHIP – This program can be conducted for either government officials or managers in private organizations. Participants in the program will: Understand the core competencies of leadership; gain an increased understanding of how to lead; develop a strategic plan for success as a leader; set personal leadership goals and a strategic plan for achieving them; Learn to function as a team and work cooperatively to help one another achieve their individual and organizational goals

STRATEGY & MARKETING FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS – This four-day course focuses on teaching the philosophies, principles and practices of strategic management. Program content includes: Strategy formulation and implementation; Marketing (positioning, branding, and country marketing); Managing the country like a business; Five Forces- value chain & exploration of why companies go abroad.

MARKETING BASICS – Often small businesses in emerging markets need a better understanding of their target market to succeed. This course gives a survey of the marketing process. It covers various topics related to marketing activities designed to provide products and services to customers. Program content includes: Consumer buying habits; market research; segmentation and targeting; pricing; advertising and promotion; preparing products for export markets.

FINANCE & ACCOUNTING – This course covers both financial accounting and management accounting and can be taught to either government officials or managers from private organizations. Program content includes: Financial accounting (Balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, cost of capital, corporations/partnerships, debt, bonds); Management accounting (cost-volume-profit analysis; cost behavior; capital budgeting; product costing)

Grant-funded project success stories include:

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the growth engines for emerging markets. Equipping the leaders of these enterprises with the right knowledge, skills, and attitudes is key to their future growth.  Since 1992, WDI has been helping entrepreneurs in emerging markets successfully grow their businesses through a variety of programs and services.

For more information about our Entrepreneurship offerings, please visit our Entrepreneurship Development Center.


“My business is banana wine and fruit production. Since graduating from WDI’s entrepreneurship training, I have exported to Tanzania, Kenya, DRC, Burundi, Uganda and Congo; and expanded our production to include banana juice, banana fibers, banana perfume and banana pads.”  –Christine Murebwayire, Rwanda

“Before taking this program my main goal was to deepen my knowledge…in many business areas which might improve my executive skills as well as strengthen my leadership skills and help in the future with managerial work. [The program] exceeded my expectations.” — Dovilė Pranckevičiene, Lithuania

Case Study #1:

Client: Oracle

Group: Twenty sales directors from Central & Eastern Europe and Russia. Line managers in their first management positions.

Goal: Equip the participants with practical skills in key management areas to help them in their new roles as managers. Give them the practical tools needed to make strategic decisions to grow their businesses and meet or exceed their sales quotas.

Training Solution: Two, one-week sessions covering finance, marketing, strategy, HR and organizational behavior. Team projects were conducted during the four-month break between the two sessions. Participants worked in teams of five on projects for new go-to-market strategies and new sales management processes.

Case Study #2:

Client: The Vietnam National Coal & Mineral Industries (Vinacomin)

Group: Fifteen vice directors from various operating units within Vinacomin.

Goal: Equip the participants with the latest global management thinking to help them achieve greater growth and increase their export business. Enhance participants’ cross-cultural business skills.

Training Solution: The five-week training took place at the University of Michigan. The program began with a four-day immersion in business English, followed by sessions on sales management, leadership, marketing, management accounting and finance. Participants visited several factories in Michigan and had the opportunity to talk about best practices with senior managers. Dinners and other social events gave participants time to interact with the professors.

Testimonial #1:

“We work with many partners to deliver learning programs across the globe, and the content, expertise and level of service WDI  provides is truly unparalleled.  WDI is a fantastic partner in every sense of the word.  The sessions they deliver are our top rated courses, and they have been extremely receptive to tailoring the content to meet our evolving needs.  We highly recommend them!” – Shannon Goodwin, Talent and Capabilities Consultant, Dell

Testimonial #2:

“Our executive education training program with the William Davidson Institute was very fruitful. The program provided us with systematic and practical knowledge and the latest information on corporate management. It also pushed Vinacoal executives to think how to make their businesses become winners in a dramatically globalized marketplace. In addition to interesting and useful class hours, we enjoyed on-site trips to various industrial plants and amusement sites. Through such trips, we learned more about American business culture, American society, and got to know many friendly Americans. Thank you to the highly effective faculty and staff at WDI for making this program such a success!” – Dihn Quang Trung, Vice Director, The Vietnam National Coal & Mineral Industries (Vinacomin)

Testimonial #3:

“I am very satisfied with the general management training program delivered by the William Davidson Institute. The program was organized very professionally and the quality of teaching was consistently high. Our top managers acquired many new skills which they can apply to their jobs and have received excellent course materials to refer to in the future as they incorporate learnings from the USS Leadership Development Program into their work. They found the training useful and fun.” – Milan Polca, HR Director, US Steel


Programs & Projects

Knowledge Sharing

  • Development of Management Education in Central and Eastern Europe (1985-2016)

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    December 2017

    This article traces the development of management education in Central and Eastern Europe over the past 30 years and provide recommendations for the future of management education in this part of the world. The authors, Danica Purg and Alenka Braček Lalić of IEDC-Bled…
  • The Role of Business: Positive Lens vs. Profit Maximizing

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Scaling Impact

    November 2017

    Within the Ross School of Business, a debate took place a few years back that continues today regarding the role of business. It was sparked by discussion surrounding a “Positive” Pillar as a part of the school strategy. More of…
  • Three Social Business Lessons from Detroit’s ‘Grassroots Entrepreneurs

    Knowledge Resource: Entrepreneurship

    May 5, 2017

    WDI Education, along with two business school professor colleagues from the Philippines, recently visited several Detroit entrepreneurship- support organizations. Given our interest in supporting entrepreneurs in emerging markets, we were especially interested to learn from the entrepreneurs we met in…
  • WDI IMPACT REPORT 2017: Improving Business Education in the Philippines

    Knowledge Resource: Economic Development/Growth, Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    March 16, 2017

    This WDI Impact Report, entitled “Improving Business Education in the Philippines,” examines the Institute’s contributions to the five-year STRIDE project which was focused on strengthening the science, technology, research and innovation capacity on the island nation. In 2013 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)…
  • ‘I Know Where I’m Going’: Lessons from the ‘Vital Voices’ Accelerator for Female Entrepreneurs

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    March 8, 2017

    For 18 months, Nathan Rauh-Bieri has followed five women in the year-long Vital Voices GROW Fellowship as they progress through the training and reflect on their experiences. In this final article, he draws some conclusions about what training practices bear replicating within…
  • Power, Individualism and Indulgence: How to Leverage Cultural Factors in Entrepreneurship Training

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    March 1, 2017

    Cultural factors can influence just about every aspect of an entrepreneur’s journey: from how they seek funding, to how they deal with setbacks, to how aggressively they grow. We compared our countries, the USA and the Philippines, to explore how…
  • EdTech Startups are Flashy, But Teacher Relationships Remain Critical

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Information Technology

    February 13, 2017

    NextBillion editor Scott Anderson interviews leaders in EdTech about where the industry is headed, its best practices, and the relationship between technology and pedagogy.
  • Teeter Scholars Benefit from WDI Education Training

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    January 25, 2017

    WDI Education begins 2017 looking forward to the 12th year of partnership with the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga), the top business school in Latvia. As we anticipate this year’s WDI Professional Education programs in Riga, we…
  • The Limitations of Traditional Executive Education – And How to Overcome Them

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    January 17, 2017

    Amy Gillett draws on her 15 years of experience to identify best practices for helping people retain - and apply - what they learn from professional education programs.
  • Developing Filipino Entrepreneurs: Case-By-Case

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    December 9, 2016

    Despite positive trends, entrepreneurship in the Philippines faces challenges - especially within entrepreneurship education. To respond, WDI has successfully employed the case method to address gaps and set up Filipino entrepreneurs to succeed in their local context. This article demonstrates…
  • Maximize the Potential of MOOCs for Employee Development

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    November 1, 2016

    Amy Gillett and two colleagues at the University of Michigan present a six-step framework to vet and evaluate massive open online courses (MOOCs). They contend MOOCs have a role to play in developing organizational talent – including in emerging economies.
  • Growth Support Services: Taking Women-Run SMEs to the Next Level

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    October 25, 2016

    The Vital Voices GROW Fellowship invests in women business owners in emerging economies over a yearlong fellowship. Here, four business owners talk with Nathan Rauh-Bieri about how, in the final stage of the fellowship, they implemented and revised their action…
  • The Accidental Social Entrepreneur: A Hippie Ecologist’s Foray into a Costa Rican Business Start-up

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    September 29, 2016

    WDI's Education Initiative is continually interested in what helps entrepreneurs succeed. In this blog, Lisa Bradshaw describes her journey to becoming a successful social entrepreneur by blending traditional knowledge with academic and industry practice.
  • Teaching and Learning with Rwandan Women Entrepreneurs

    Knowledge Resource: Entrepreneurship

    August 3, 2016

    Entrepreneurship programs are most commonly – and rightly – reported using data, numbers, and occasional testimonials and student spotlights. Rarely do programs receive extended analysis – especially from the vantage point of the instructor. Recently, however, WDI Faculty Affiliate Matthew…
  • Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs

    Knowledge Resource: Entrepreneurship

    June 28, 2016

    For Meghan Sheehan, having “a beginner’s mindset – to assume you know nothing,” was a great way to approach a complex problem in a far different culture and economic context than her own. Sheehan and fellow MBA students applied that…
  • With Few Resources, Cuba’s Resourceful Entrepreneurs Find a Way

    Knowledge Resource: Economic Development/Growth, Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    June 9, 2016

    Amy Gillett, vice president of WDI's Education Initiative, visited Cuba last month to assess how the Institute could assist the country's burgeoning entrepreneur community. She shares her experience meeting entrepreneurs on the ground.
  • Pedagogy-Driven Innovation / A Spotlight on U-M’s Integrative Systems + Design

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    May 3, 2016

    At WDI’s Education Initiative, we are curious to learn about what schools and organizations are doing to promote educational innovation – especially with tools that could be used within emerging economies.This leads us to develop partnerships and explore models all over…
  • What’s on Trend in Management Training? Four Key Takeaways from the 2016 Learning Solutions Conference

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    March 25, 2016

    Amy Gillett, vice president of WDI’s Education Initiative, recently joined 1600 education specialists from around the globe for the 2016 Learning Solutions Conference in Orlando, Florida. Here are her main takeaways from the conference and how WDI’s Education Initiative will…
  • Notes From Education xChange 2.0

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    February 26, 2016

    WDI’s Education Initiative recently participated in the Second Annual Education xChange. Sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business’ Education + Business (E+B) Club, the day-long event focused on the intersection of education and business. While attendees came…
  • Fruitful Entrepreneurship Training Helps Women in Tanzania’s Ag Sector Flourish

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    February 11, 2016

    The Gender Equality to Promote Household Food Security (IGE) program aims to help women agricultural workers in Tanzania spend less time in the field and more time in higher-value added activities. WDI Intern Diana Callaghan spent her summer here, and Amy Gillett reports…
  • Virtual Companies Come to Life: How New Methods in Student Training Can Build Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Kenya

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    January 27, 2016

    Ivana Ulicna of the Pontis Foundation -- a partner to WDI's Education Initiative -- weighs in on how integrating virtual (or “training”) companies into education can give Kenyan students the experience and skills necessary to lead their businesses effectively and…
  • WDI Perspective: Localizing the Case Study Method

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    January 27, 2016

    As a partner in the USAID/Philippines STRIDE project, WDI utilizes the “gold standard of management training pedagogy” to spur inclusive economic growth in the Philippines.
  • Enterprises Play a Key Role in Alleviating Poverty

    Knowledge Resource: Base of the Pyramid (BoP), Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship, Finance/Microfinance

    January 20, 2016

    Amy Gillett discusses development through entrepreneurship in an interview on enterprises' role in alleviating poverty in the newsletter of Education partner Pontis Foundation.
  • The Personal Connection: The Value of In-Person Training for Women Business Owners

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    January 7, 2016

    As part of his continuing series, Nathan Rauh-Bieri checks back in with participants in the year-long Vital Voices GROW Fellowship. In a world growing more "virtual" by the day, he learned there's still plenty of value in entrepreneurs meeting face…
  • Weekend MBA Student Teams Advance Education Mission

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    December 10, 2015

    WDI's  Education Initiative connected Michigan Ross MBA students with its longtime partner school – the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia (SSE Riga) – to assess innovative new Echo360 technology as part of a Ross' Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP) program. See…
  • Disrupting the Disruption

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    November 19, 2015

    What appears to be truly disruptive is an education model in which students are forced to go beyond “business as usual” and build models where everyone can play a role in creating a more inclusive economy.
  • Tools for Economic Empowerment: Virtual Learning in the Vital Voices GROW Fellowship

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    November 10, 2015

    In this, the third in a series of articles about women entrepreneurs participating in the year-long Vital Voices GROW Fellowship, they speak in glowing terms of the virtual learning part of their training. Next up, they'll gather for in-person training.
  • How Does Economic Empowerment Happen? (Part 2)

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    September 24, 2015

    Tracking the progress of five female entrepreneurs as they take part in a fellowship and grow their businesses.
  • How Does Economic Empowerment Happen? (Part 1)

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    September 23, 2015

    Listening for answers as five women participate in the Vital Voices GROW Fellowship.
  • Mentoring for Social Entrepreneurship Education

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management, Entrepreneurship

    July 20, 2015

    Mentoring NGO is building a holistic impact in the MENA region.
  • Tools for Teaching About Business at the BoP

    Knowledge Resource: Base of the Pyramid (BoP), Education/General Management

    July 14, 2015

    Business School for Impact (BSI) Initiative is a way to raise students’ awareness of the potential in developing countries.
  • Texting Toward a Better Business

    Knowledge Resource: Education/General Management

    March 17, 2015

    What happened when women in three countries were offered bite-sized bits of business know-how via mobile phones?
  • Teach a (Wo)Man to Fish … But What if it’s Against the Law?

    Knowledge Resource: Base of the Pyramid (BoP), Education/General Management

    November 25, 2014

    The Women Thrive Conference explores how training women and improving their livelihoods can address gender inequality.



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