Lana Lovasic is a Director and Co-Founder of Simanye, with her role mainly focused on impact investing, innovation and specialised consulting. She is an economic development and social enterprise strategist and practitioner with over a decade of diverse international experience working within multicultural teams. Lana previously worked for a community foundation in rural South Africa focused on economic development and socio-economic project support, as well as helping develop Corporate Social Investment strategies. Lana first came to South Africa as part of a microfinance consultancy in order to complete her specialised MBA, which focused on social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and management of international and non-government organisations.
In addition to her role with Simanye, Lana is also very involved with two other businesses that she helped found: Impact Hub Joburg, which is an incubator, co-working and event space for impact entrepreneurs; and Rooftop Roots, focused on hydroponic and aquaponic rooftop farming in Johannesburg. She also sits on the steering committee for the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs.
Lana has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, in Toronto, Canada as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland. She has further certificates in environmental management, impact investing, and innovation.
Lana’s key skills and experience include:
- Enterprise innovation, design and strategy, as well as development of social enterprise for-profit models;
- Impact acceleration and incubation;
- Social enterprise model research, feasibility and implementation as well as overall strategy for revenue generation and attracting investment;
- Design Thinking, Theory of Change, logframes, and other innovation and development based methodologies.
- Management of development projects, including use of the Asset-Based Community Driven (ABCD) Development Paradigm for community development;
- Holistic and integrated community development strategies and value chain interventions for poverty reduction;
- Extensive social, environmental, and economic research experience in a wide range of areas with strong analytical and critical thinking abilities, and excellent communication skills
- Impact Investing and business development services (BDS) advisory mainly at early and seed stages;
- Economic Development and Supplier Development strategy and planning;
- Local procurement and supplier development strategy, including the supplier cluster model, and with a particular focus on the mining sector;
- Development of Supplier Development toolkit and training material;
- Strategic and effective enterprise development, from micro level, utilising microfinance and microfranchising, to the SME level and beyond;
- Design and management of projects relating to strategic corporate sustainability and responsibility;
- Training and facilitation in a range of subjects and extensive experience speaking at conferences on impact investing, social enterprise, community and economic development and B-BBEE
- Several years’ South African mining sector experience, including familiarity with legislation and policies, and a focus on social and developmental components;
- Urban farming and micro-farming business set up;
- B-BBEE (South African development policy) strategy work for corporates as well as social enterprises and NGOs; and
- Effective measurement and evaluation of social projects with a focus on real impact, and based on the logframe and results chain approaches.