TurnAround Couriers is a self-described “competitive courier business,” but with a special twist: the company is staffed exclusively by at-risk youth. According to the social audits page of the company’s website, TurnAround’s mandate is to “Recruit youth from youth shelters and youth-serving agencies across Toronto” in order to provide individuals who might otherwise be deemed unhireable with an entry point to a viable career path. It’s an ambitious goal, but after seven and a half years in business and an estimated 110 young people hired, it’s safe to say that TurnAround has made an impact.
A former lawyer, Derham arrived in Canada from his native England in the summer of 2000. Though he was attached to a job at the time, he harboured separate entrepreneurial visions. “I wanted to run a for-profit business that was philanthropic and I was keen to work with young people who were job-ready but struggling to get into the job market. The bike courier business wasn’t my first choice, but it was my first good choice.”