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A 4Social Venture Series: A-Way Express, Their Story

A-Way Express is a social enterprise that provides same-day courier service by public transportation for its many customers across the City of Toronto.  A-Way differs from other courier services by having a double bottom-line: profit and employment.  Not only is A-Way a steadily growing professional business but it also provides meaningful, flexible and permanent employment to people with direct experience of the mental health system.

As a gainfully employed member of the A-Way team our employees have the opportunity to gain a sense of purpose and self-determination, enhance their financial stability, and enjoy access to peer support and social networking opportunities that serve to promote recovery.  In addition they are acquiring work-related skills, a work history and references.

In 1987 A-Way Express opened its doors having developed a business model that required it be operated by survivors of mental health challenges.  The need was clear, as work opportunities in a supportive environment for survivors were missing from the business landscape.  Having a self-determining structure allowed management to make the most appropriate decisions effecting fellow survivors and it has continued in this form to this day.

In 1987 A-Way Express opened its doors on June 1st with ten couriers, one Manager and four office staff.  They had 30 customers.  By 1992 A-Way had expanded to 45 couriers, seven office staff, a Manager, an Executive Director and 700 customers.  Today, in 2014 we employ 65 people and have over 2000 customers.

Visit to learn more: https://www.awayexpress.ca/

 

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