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Claire Hayek: Winner of the 2024 Great Companies International Women Entrepreneur Award

Name: Claire Hayek

Business Name: MSP Teambuilding Inc.

Location: Montreal , Canada

Establishment (Year): 2015

Category: Business Services

Profession/ Specialty: Professional Services

Social Media: LinkedIn 

Company Overview

At MSP (Mind. Soul. Purpose.) Teambuilding, they are dedicated to revolutionizing the way teams interact, collaborate, and succeed within medium to large corporations. Founded by Claire Hayek, an engineer turned passionate entrepreneur with over two decades of experience managing diverse teams, MSP Teambuilding addresses the often-overlooked aspect of corporate success: team morale and engagement.

They're not just about creating memorable experiences; they're about forging paths to a sustainable and equitable world through their unique team-building activities. Their mission is to enhance team engagement, boost motivation, and elevate overall business results through strategically designed, multipurpose team-building programs that integrate the essential elements of ESG and SDGs, making sustainability and social responsibility the heart of corporate team dynamics.

These programs are not just activities; they are transformative experiences tailored to meet the specific needs of each team they work with. From improving communication and collaboration to fostering a sense of belonging and purpose, their services have consistently delivered sustainable improvements in team productivity and workplace happiness.

Claire's journey as a woman entrepreneur in the corporate world has been marked by her determination to create positive work environments that not only drive business success but also promote individual growth and well-being. This commitment is reflected in the unique approach of MSP Teambuilding, which goes beyond traditional team-building exercises to address the root causes of low team engagement and morale.

Their accomplishments include widespread recognition from top Fortune 500 companies and a portfolio of over 100 diversified programs across Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia. MSP Teambuilding is not only WBE Canada Certified and CBRB Verified but has also been honored with the WBE Excellence Award ‘Rising Star’ - 2023, and the CCICL ‘Innovation & Technology’ Award - 2023, underscoring their innovative contributions to the field of team development.

The MSP Teambuilding model embodies the entrepreneurial spirit celebrated by the Great Companies for Women Entrepreneur Award. They are not just a team-building company; they are a movement towards creating more cohesive, resilient, and successful corporate teams.

Unique Selling Proposition and Competitive Advantage

MSP Teambuilding's Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and Competitive Advantage lie in its innovative approach to solving the perennial problem of low team engagement and morale in the corporate world while integrating ESG and SDG elements that align with organizational goals of sustainability. This dual focus makes their offerings particularly appealing to companies seeking to advance their social and environmental impact alongside team development.

Here's a detailed breakdown of what makes MSP Teambuilding stand out and why organizations choose them over other team-building providers:

Innovative and Strategic Solutions: Unlike traditional team-building activities that often fail to address the root causes of team challenges, MSP Teambuilding offers customer-proven, strategically designed multipurpose programs. These programs are tailored to meet the unique needs of each team, ensuring a sustainable boost in morale, productivity, and profitability. Their approach is based on the insight and experience of their founder and CEO, Claire Hayek, who has over 20 years of experience in creating positive work environments across various industries. Claire's passion for improving team dynamics led her to work with top HR professionals and psychologists to develop their unique programs that no other provider offers.

Customer-Proven Results: The effectiveness of their programs is evidenced by significant improvements reported by companies that have implemented their strategic approach. These improvements include increased team sense of belonging, enhanced communication and collaboration, and the creation of happier, more successful teams. Their approach has been proven to improve team morale and productivity by up to 50%, foster a positive company culture, and enhance employee health and well-being, thereby offering a very high return on investment (ROI).

Cost-Effective and Sustainable: MSP Teambuilding offers cost-effective solutions that deliver exceptional, sustainable results over time, increasing your ROI. Their programs are designed to fit within your budget while still providing the same level of impact and engagement as more expensive alternatives. This ensures that you don't have to resort to hiring in-house team-building experts or sending your team to costly off-site retreats for only a temporary boost in team motivation.

Risk-Free Guarantee: Understanding the hesitations that may come with investing in team-building activities, they offer a risk-free guarantee. If you're not completely satisfied with the results of their program, they'll work with you to make it right or provide a refund. This commitment to customer satisfaction underscores their confidence in the effectiveness of their programs and their dedication to delivering exceptional results.

Recognition and Trust: Their achievements and the trust they've earned from leading corporations worldwide, including top Fortune 500 companies, underscore their expertise and dedication to excellence. They are WBE Canada Certified, CBRB Verified, and have been recognized with prestigious awards such as the WBE Excellence Award ‘Rising Star’ - 2023, and the CCICL ‘Innovation & Technology’ Award - 2023. These accolades reflect their commitment to innovation, quality, and client satisfaction.

By choosing MSP Teambuilding, organizations are not just investing in another team-building activity; they are investing in a transformative experience that addresses the core challenges facing their teams, leading to lasting improvements in team dynamics, morale, and productivity while contributing to their organizations' SDG score.

Challenges Faced During the Journey

The journey in founding MSP Teambuilding and navigating the corporate team-building industry as a woman has been a tale of merging challenges, blending the hurdles of entrepreneurship with the complexities of making a mark in a male-dominated space. From the beginning, the ambition was not just to introduce an innovative approach to team dynamics but also to carve out a place for oneself and other women in an industry where female leadership was not the norm.

The development of MSP Teambuilding's unique programs was a challenge steeped in the dual endeavor of proving the effectiveness of their methods and asserting the legitimacy of leadership as a woman. This process involved not only rigorous collaboration and research but also a constant battle against the skepticism that often greets women entrepreneurs. Each question about the programs felt doubly loaded, challenging the viability of the innovations and, implicitly, the capacity as a woman to disrupt the industry.

Building trust and credibility, therefore, became a mission that transcended business success; it was about demonstrating that innovative leadership knows no gender. The success stories and case studies that gradually built their reputation also served as testament to the broader capabilities and potential of women in leadership roles, challenging and changing perceptions within the corporate world.

Scaling MSP Teambuilding globally involved navigating not just the usual challenges of business growth but also the nuanced dynamics of asserting female entrepreneurship across different cultural landscapes. Each new market was an opportunity to showcase the universality of effective team-building regardless of the gender of its architect, reinforcing the message that innovation and leadership are not confined by traditional gender roles.

On a personal level, this journey has been a profound lesson in resilience, adaptability, and the importance of championing diversity and inclusivity in all aspects of business. Balancing the demands of entrepreneurship with the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry has enriched the perspective, allowing leadership with empathy, determination, and a deep commitment to paving the way for future women entrepreneurs.

Reflecting on the path, it's clear that the challenges faced and overcome have shaped not just the success of MSP Teambuilding but have also contributed to the ongoing dialogue about gender in business. The story, blending entrepreneurship with the quest for gender equality, serves as a narrative of overcoming, inspiring, and leading by example, proving that barriers can indeed be broken, and new paths forged, for those who follow.

Advice for Women Entrepreneurs:

To young women entrepreneurs, there's a crucial emphasis on believing in your vision and the potential to make a difference, not just within your industry but on a global scale. It's recommended to discover what drives you at your core and what makes you uniquely you, integrating these aspects into your business model to set you apart. Embracing resilience, seeking out mentors, and understanding that your entrepreneurial journey can significantly contribute to shaping a better world are vital aspects.

It's important to remember that being a woman entrepreneur transcends mere business success; it's about paving the way for others who will follow in your footsteps. Each barrier you break down contributes to a world where gender is no longer seen as a determinant of entrepreneurial success. By pursuing your dreams with passion and determination, you're not only building a legacy for yourself but also inspiring the next generation of women entrepreneurs to dream even bigger.

The journey in creating MSP Teambuilding has been filled with learning, growth, and a deep sense of purpose. It has taught that while the entrepreneurial path is challenging, it's also immensely rewarding. To young women entrepreneurs, the advice is to embrace the journey with all its highs and lows. Your unique perspective and innovative ideas are needed in the world. Believe in yourself, stay resilient, and never underestimate the impact you can make.



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