Groupe Convex is the nonprofit parent that acts as an umbrella over a growing network of social businesses in the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, Ontario. All employ intellectually disabled people who otherwise would be excluded from one of the most gratifying experiences there is: a meaningful, paying job. Currently, over 100 people are employed by a printer, a café, an antique store, a furniture maker, a recycler, a spice shop, a packager, a farm labour pool, and a courier.
The profits of these businesses are reinvested within the parent organization and their economic performance is recorded in a single consolidated financial statement. This structure enables new or experimental ventures to survive while performing their mission to create employment opportunities. The manager of each business reports directly to the Executive Director with regard to finance, marketing, relationships, and mission.
By allowing employees to be busy, to work on a team with other "ordinary" people, to contribute their ideas to the business, to develop their competencies and their image, to reach high expectations, Convex creates good jobs for people who would otherwise remain unemployed or underemployed.
Convex provides a practical and concrete learning laboratory that demonstrates how stakeholders can take charge of a situation, find partners, and invent commercial solutions to chronic unemployment. It also enhances the ability of agencies to serve their clients, even when their traditional sources of funding are in decline.