Her Story


Having been named 2004 Rotman Women Entrepreneur of the Year has caused me to reflect on my success as a businesswoman, an entrepreneur and to the success of Student Express.

Business always came naturally to me, and I always dreamed of having my own business. At that time women in leadership roles in business were not the norm. Determined to follow my dream I entered the business school and obtained an MBA. I was one of the three women in the program and on the dean’s honour list.

From there I followed my colleagues into the corporate world where I developed many of the skills needed to succeed in business.

Full of ideas, I decided to look for an opportunity to create and build a company. Student Express was born. Like all births it was difficult but very rewarding. The greatest challenge was to follow my own instincts, to once again strike out into the unknown and pursue my dream.

I discovered a niche market, transporting special needs students and obtained a contract for 8 buses in 1990 with the York District School Board. My passion and commitment to make Student Express the best school bus company was insatiable.

The Student Express team shared this passion and commitment and the company continued to grow employing 300 people, with a fleet of 250 buses when it was sold.

Always the entrepreneur, I have launched my next business 401 Bay Centre. Located on the southeast corner of Bay and Queen streets in the heart of downtown Toronto, 401 Bay Centre offers an unparalleled standard of shared offices and features furnished executive and team offices, five meeting rooms, virtual office solutions and day offices for those that only need the facilities occasionally.

It is more than offices and desks – it’s the new way of doing business. We provide everything you need to make your work environment enjoyable and productive. Whether establishing a business presence in Toronto , opening a branch office, or simply need an office or occasional meeting room, 401 Bay Centre is the answer.

Visit the website at www.401bay.com

Marnie teaches entrepreneurship at the Schulich School of Business, is a keynote speaker, and a founder and board member of Maple Leaf Angels investment group.

Marnie Walker’s CV

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401 Bay Street, Suite 1600, Toronto