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Geneviève Bégin

Geneviève Bégin

Full-Time MBA (2014)

A businesswoman, mother and photographer, Geneviève co-founded PopupCamp in 2015. This mobile childcare service is not only a turnkey solution for event planners, it also promotes the inclusion of young parents in various activities.

Geneviève draws on her artistic creativity, managerial sensibilities and entrepreneurial instincts to observe, question and examine the status quo and then move forward with new and ground-breaking ideas. Her leadership style is distinctly dynamic and vibrant.

She is the recipient of the Leo Scharry Scholarship, the 2015 AMBAQ Bourse Émérite in recognition of her strong leadership potential and an honourable mention from the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE).

What are you doing to help change the world?

I am changing the world through my volunteer efforts, specifically through the boards I serve on, and by starting up my own company, PopupCamp. The service enables other families to share their socioeconomic lives in a fluid manner, so that together we can work to create a better tomorrow. PopupCamp aims to become the number-one solution for Quebec event planners looking to promote a better balance between work, leisure and family time.

The initiative is a game-changer. It frees parents from having to search high and low for solutions to manage their time and juggle their family responsibilities by bringing event planners into the equation. The result is an inclusive solution for families that re-establishes parenthood as a desirable state and one that can be incorporated seamlessly into other spheres of adult life.

Childcare options on evenings and weekends are few and far between – especially ones that come to the family instead of the other way around. In addition to promoting the inclusion of this active generation in various activities, PopupCamp gives children the chance to experience the “real world” by bringing the theme of the adult event down to their level. As a result, perhaps my daughter’s generation will have it easier when it comes to finding their way in the world, since they will have been raised in part by and in the community.

 

To what do you attribute the success of your career path?

I’m curious and a good observer by nature, but I’m also a go-getter. I’ve had some wonderful victories, but I’ve also been through some crushing defeats. I’ve had to face the challenges of single parenthood while navigating the thrill ride of being an entrepreneur. As I was questioning what I was doing, I was lucky to have a great group of mentors and a far-reaching professional network around me.

My career path has never followed a straight line. I hail from an artistic background, but I pivoted toward something different when I went back to school. This combination of rational and intuitive influences keeps me alert to the opportunities out there. My resilience and stick-to-itiveness feed my creativity and push me to make the most of my choices.

 

How did your time at HEC Montréal help you or give you the tools to overcome the challenges you encountered along the way?

I observed, learned and developed good habits at HEC Montréal. The robust skill sets I acquired have given me confidence in my abilities. I also developed a better grasp of who I am as a businesswoman and tweaked my soft skills. My MBA classmates identified me as a “Colourful Leader.” In other words, because of my atypical profile I can bring together a wide range of networks, take a closer look at popular conceptions (and misconceptions) and move discussions forward in the right direction.

Despite the prevailing cynicism and the magnitude of the challenges we were up against, I’m comfortable swimming against the current and I’m happy to be one of the architects of the Quebec of tomorrow. Every day, I do my part to encourage people to embrace a positive, sustainable model of socioeconomic development.

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