About

 

In the beGinNing

Sprout Ventures started in 2013 with a mission to create more opportunities for connection, participation and belonging in Australia's new greenfield communities. Over time, we have recognised the essential role property services, community curation and place management has to play in creating wonderful, vibrant and healthy communities.

As a group we are dedicated to providing ethical business solutions which service Australia's growing property and development industry. 

Why we matter

Globally, we are facing an epidemic of loneliness and social isolation. The implications of loneliness and isolation are vast. Social isolation has a higher mortality rate than obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day, while just thinking you are lonely - even without actually being isolated - increases your risk of death by 26%.  

Over the years, my own research has consistently identified “loss of community” as one of the most common concerns among contemporary Australians. That concern is often expressed as a regret that local neighbourhoods are not functioning as well as they once did.
— Hugh MacKay

This rise in isolation and loneliness is happening at the same time as a massive growth in urbanisation, with 70% of the world's population expected to live in cities by 2050. Urbanisation puts significant pressure on local government to make serious public policy changes for city planning and service provision, but also presents a huge opportunity when it comes to tackling social isolation.

Countless studies have found that the built environment and how it is managed has the power to influence social connectedness (Henderson-Wilson, 2009; Baum and Palmer 2002; Kawachi and Berkman 2000). By influencing the construction, development, property management and strata management sectors who together have make-or-break power over residential livability and social cohesion, we can help address the issue of social isolation and create more thriving and socially sustainable communities for the future. 

 

     

     

    mission

    We believe in a world where people know their neighbours, rely on each other and give back to their wider community.

    It’s people that make our built environment thrive; by transforming spaces into bustling public centres, we create long term value for investors, developers, residents, tenants and the wider community.

    We do this in  variety of ways, from consulting to project scoping and delivery.  Our other companies, Sprout Place and Common Place Strata, work to achieve this mission in more specialised areas. 

    A BCorporation since 2016

    B Corporations represent an emerging group of companies that are using the power of business to create a positive impact on the world and generate a shared and durable prosperity for all.

    Certified B Corporations have undertaken rigorous assessment that explores a company’s governance, transparency, environmental and social impact. B Corps voluntarily hold themselves to a higher level of accountability in these areas.

    Recognition

    • Innovation Award, Social Enterprise Awards Australia, 2015
    • Finalist, Westpac's 200 Businesses of Tomorrow, 2017

    Press & Publications

     

    Founders

    BR_headshot_650x650.jpg

    Bridie Ritchie

    Bridie is the managing director of Sprout Ventures. She and her brother, Lachy, have been creating social enterprises since 2010. Bridie has a creative streak and can be found in the Sprout office sticking post-its to every surface or mapping out an idea visually on butchers paper. 

    As a life long learner, Bridie has broad experience, from graphic design, to psychology, to business, to film, to property management and even yoga. But the thing that unifies these seemingly disconnected areas is Bridie's drive to create meaningful change that immediately benefits everyday people, and has ripples of impact to change society long term.

    Bridie is the co-founder and current chair of WA not-for-profit, Dismantle. Bridie was a Global Laureate Youth Action Net Fellow in 2015,  awarded ‘The Gamechanger Award’ by the Foundation for Young Australians in 2016, and a finalist in WA's Young Achiever of the Year awards in 2017. 

    106.jpg

    LACHY RITCHIE

    Lachy has been involved in the social enterprise sector since 2010. Together with Sprout co-founder and sister Bridie, he has kick-started several profit-for-purpose ventures, including Dismantle , Bike Dr and Sprout.

    Lachy was an entrepreneur early; at age 10 he spent a family holiday to Vanuatu selling coconuts to thirsty tourists. These days he uses his skills to solve more pressing social and environmental challenges. He has a broad passion for future-focused innovation across youth engagement, community development, and agriculture and food systems.

    Lachy also loves a surf, cooks a mean Paella and is frequently tailed by his kelpie mate, Syd. Lachy was a Global Laureate Youth Action Net Fellow in 2013 and has served as board director of a philanthropic foundation and many social enterprises.

    017.jpg

    Kate Fitzgerald

    Kate is a farm girl who grew up in country Victoria. She went on to study Architecture at Melbourne University, before moving to Perth for love in 2012. She brought her architecture firm ‘Whispering Smith’ (named after a 1930’s western cowboy Sheriff) to the west coast, along with her driving passion for socially responsive, cutting edge design, and can-do pragmatism. She quickly made her mark on the West Australian archi scene by mentoring, giving talks to young architects, and partnering with legends.

    Aside from running Whispering Smith, Kate builds her own (and friends’) rad houses, annoys Councils, fights for better planning regulations at WAPC, and tutors at the University of Western Australia. Sometimes she surfs (badly) and loves to head home to the farm for harvest. Kate is a Registered Architect with the WA Board of Architects.