Building Sustainable Communities Through Social Enterprise
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Social entrepreneur Jade Orgill is passionate about making the world a more sustainable place to live in.
A natural change agent, Jade established The Sprightly Seed after she was retrenched in 2016. The Sprightly Seed delivers kitchen and food garden infrastructure products to child-focused projects. Its clients are mostly early childhood development centres in vulnerable communities.
Over the years, Jade has always gravitated toward the rights and needs of children. “When I was retrenched in 2016, I knew I was being moved into something bigger. It gave me a moment to reflect on where I had been and what I had learned, and to re-imagine what I was truly capable of. So I took everything I had - my knowledge, experience and strength - and wrote a development programme that would help communities sustain their basic need and right to healthy food over the long term,” she explains.
Jade and her team have grown her social enterprise organically over the last three years. “We are a small business, but we have managed to build ourselves debt-free, starting with only the vision we had, and the belief others had in our ability. Over the last two years we have grown our revenue by 800%. For us this means that we have been successful in what we deliver and we are credible to those who invest in us,” she says.
Jade also measures her success and that of The Sprightly Seed in other ways. “Every day that I wake up and get to do what I love is a success. When I am out in the field harvesting and I see the pride in the faces of the people I work with, that’s success to me. When we do the work without a big public relations and marketing budget and people notice us - giving us an opportunity to be seen by others - that’s success,” she adds.
Starting a business has been a journey of self-discovery to Jade, and she has learnt many lessons the hard way. “Much of what comes your way that is challenging is a lesson. For me patience has been a hard lesson. I’ve always been action-orientated and determined, wanting things to happen when and how I want them to happen. We’ve also learnt to be resilient,” she says.
The Sprightly Seed grows food gardens at seven ECD centres to improve the nutrition of children who mostly come from food-insecure homes. During the national lockdown, it launched an Emergency Relief Campaign for the families of the children enrolled at its seven centres.“The support from individual donations has been incredible. We set out to reach 450 families and have, to date, been able to deliver food and hygiene packs to 115 families. The campaign will continue to run until we reach all 450,” says Jade.
Jade and her team look forward to continuing their work post lockdown. “Food security is critical to communities resilience in the face of global shifts. We hope that it will shift to the forefront of the public and private investment agenda, which will enable us to do more.”
Email Jade@thesprightlyseed.org to support The Sprightly Seeds’ emergency relief fund, purchase food garden infrastructure, or sponsor the food garden programme to a school.