About Simon

About Simon
Simon White

Independent policy advice in economic growth, business development and job creation

I have worked as a independent policy advisor (otherwise known as a consultant) on business and economic development for more than 30 years. I have a few specialty areas, including private sector development, business environment reform, entrepreneurship and innovation, and regional and local economic development. One of the themes that knit these areas of work is location, or more aptly put, place. I am interested in how places can sustainably provide new business and job opportunities for people.

In my international advisory experience, advise governments, business organisations and development agencies. I have done this in various settings, from regional Australia to Rwanda, the Philippines and Vietnam, to the Pacific. I have provided advice and development services in over 40 countries, including fragile and conflict-affected countries, remote and rural economies, and big cities like Johannesburg and Cairo.

My clients range from development agencies to local councils, national governments, regional economic communities, academic institutions and large international consulting firms.

I have led scores of evaluations and assessments and written research papers and guidance on the political, economic and institutional influences affecting development. I have supervised national and global research projects, including multi-country studies on business environment reform, small business policies and programs, investment climate reforms and job creation initiatives. 

My academic experience includes having taught graduate and postgraduate students at the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Western Australia, and Murdoch University where I am a Visiting Fellow.

Testimonials and case studies

See a selection of testimonials from previous clients.

Also see case studies of Simon White’s work. These include studies of public-private partnerships for industry development (Rwanda), asset-based regional economic development (Australia), sector-based business environment reform (global), business advocacy (Botswana), and sustainable enterprise development (global).

Selected publications

Simon is an experienced writer and is comfortable with a variety of writing formats. Below is a sample of his reports.


Australian Credited Economic Developer (ACEcD) and Member of Economic Development Australia.

Member: Australasian Evaluation Society.

Visiting Fellow: Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Murdoch University, Western Australia (2016-present)

Visiting Adjunct Professor: Graduate School of Public Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (2009-2015)

Board Member: Harakat – the Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility (2011-2017): a US$50 million facility supporting the reform of the investment climate and business environment in Afghanistan.

Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (2002-present): The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) is an international membership organisation made up of international development agencies, which includes World Bank and United Nations agencies, as well as the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and the UK, among others. Simon provides technical advice and support on various knowledge management projects that improve the practices of these agencies in their support of business environment reforms in developing countries.

Past clients

  1. Afghanistan Investment Climate Programme (Harakat)
  2. African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP)
  3. Australian Government (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
  4. Blueprint Group Pty. Ltd., South Africa
  5. Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower
  6. Business Environment Reform Facility (DFID United Kingdom)
  7. Cardno
  8. City of Windhoek, Namibia
  9. Coffey International Development
  10. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
  11. Commonwealth Secretariat, London
  12. Commonwealth Youth Programme, London and Africa
  13. Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danida), Copenhagen and numerous embassies
  14. De Beers, South Africa
  15. Deloitte and Touch, London
  16. Development Bank of Southern Africa
  17. Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge UK - Business Environment Working Group
  18. Economic Research Forum, Egypt
  19. Federation of Egyptian Industries
  20. Federation of Kenya Employers
  21. Flanders International Cooperation Agency
  22. Ford Foundation
  23. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Namibia
  24. European Commission, Brussels
  25. Gaborone City Council, Botswana
  26. Gauteng Provincial Government’s Department of Economic Development, Johannesburg
  27. German International Development
  28. Gladstone Regional Council, Central Queensland
  29. Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  30. Government of the Republic of South Africa, Department of Local and Provincial Government
  31. Government of the Republic of South Africa, Department of Trade and Industry
  32. Government of Botswana, Local Enterprise Authority
  33. Government of Botswana, Ministry of Trade and Industry
  34. Government of Botswana, Ministry of Youth Affairs
  35. IBN (Banyjima, Milyuranpa Banyjima, Minadhu and Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporations), Part Hedland, Western Australia
  36. International Labour Organization (Geneva headquarters and many regional, sub-regional and country offices)
  37. Independent Research and Development Council, Canada
  38. Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  39. International Training Centre, Turin, Italy
  40. KPMG London
  41. LandCorp, Western Australia
  42. Local governments (numerous local governments across Australia)
  43. Manufacturing, Engineering, and Related Services Education and Training Authority, South Africa
  44. Mineworkers Development Agency, Lesotho
  45. MINTEK, South Africa
  46. Murdoch University, Australia
  47. Namibia National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  48. National Economic Initiative, South Africa
  49. National Native Title Tribunal, Australia
  50. National Small Business Council, South Africa
  51. National Youth Affairs Research Scheme, Australia
  52. National Youth Council, Namibia
  53. National Youth Commission, South Africa
  54. NEPAD: New Partnership for Africa’s Development (the development agency of the African Union)
  55. Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)
  56. Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency, South Africa
  57. Okutumbatumba Hawkers’ Association, Namibia
  58. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris
  59. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Donor Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), Paris
  60. Oxfam UK and Ireland
  61. Oxford Policy Management
  62. PeaceNexus Foundation (Geneva)
  63. PLATFORMA, the pan-European coalition of local and regional governments, Council of European Municipalities and Regions
  64. South African National Youth Commission
  65. Southern African Development Community
  66. Spark, a Dutch NGO based in Amsterdam
  67. Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Stockholm
  68. Transport Education and Training Authority, South Africa
  69. Trust Africa, Senegal
  70. UK Department for International Development (DFID), London and numerous embassies
  71. Umsobomvu Youth Fund, South Africa
  72. Urban Trust of Namibia
  73. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Geneva)
  74. United Nations Development Programme (New York)
  75. United Nations Peace Building Support Office (New York)
  76. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Vienna)
  77. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  78. Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  79. Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
  80. World Bank Group, including International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS)

Mastodon link.

International Experience

Dr. White has provided consulting services to clients in the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Maldives, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine Territories, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.