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11 December 2012
Cecilia Robinson represents a large number of ‘made in New Zealand’ Kiwis, born somewhere else, who arrived here full of hope and entrepreneurial spirit who have become huge contributors to our economy. Cecilia has just become a Citizen, and it appears, she’s only just scratched the surface of her entrepreneurial pursuits.
Cecilia arrived in New Zealand in 2005, leaving her native Sweden to start a new life in New Zealand. Seven years later she became 2012 HER Businesswoman of the Year, and her company (Au Pair Link) was placed number 12 in the Deloitte Fast 50 list. As New Zealand’s leading and largest Au Pair agency, Cecilia’s company has become a leader in the home based early childhood education industry, placing Au Pairs with working families throughout the country. Having recently given birth to her first son, she has rounded off the year by becoming a naturalised New Zealand citizen.
“Becoming a Kiwi is a real privilege; New Zealand is my home and the place that I love. I am very passionate about New Zealand and have a strong belief that we can lead the world in the trend toward home based early childhood education and care,” says Robinson.
As a member of New Zealands largest community for entrepreneurial women, Co.OfWomen, Cecilia is a generous supporter of entrepreneurial women, sharing what she has learnt for the benefit of other growth focused business owners.
Her chief passion however, is about ensuring that Kiwi parents have the option for their young children and babies to be cared for and educated in the home. “What we are finding is that Au Pair care allows parents to return to work earlier – so we’ve got increased labour force participation,” explains Cecilia, “parents simply feel a lot safer and more comfortable knowing their children are receiving one-on-one care from someone they know and trust in a home environment.”
The company has stimulated growth in the tourism industry as well, with approximately 800 Au Pairs entering New Zealand this year alone. Research shows that Au Pairs in New Zealand spend 92% of their wages on tourism and travelling throughout the country. In addition, over half have family visit while they are living in New Zealand further boosting tourism.
“This country has so much going for it, bringing young people to New Zealand from all corners of the globe is a great way to build our reputation overseas.” With a 4 month old son born in New Zealand and a Kiwi husband of 4 years, Cecilia is excited about what life holds for her family in Aotearoa. “Becoming a citizen has given me even more drive to better promote New Zealand to the world’s youth.”
It seems there is no end to Cecilia Robison’s vision for the future of her adopted country.
Check out Cecilia’s video interview = where she shares her journey for the benefit of fellow entrepreneurial women.
Cecilia Robinson is a member of Co.OfWomen. She is the founder and Managing Director of Au Pair Link. Au Pair Link is the largest Au Pair agency in Australasia and one of the largest Au Pair agencies in the world. Au Pair Link is licensed by the New Zealand Ministry of Education as a home based Early Childhood Education (ECE) provider and is now one of the largest home based ECE providers in New Zealand with nearly 40 staff. Cecilia was the winner of the Her Business Best New Business award in 2009 as well as a finalist in 2010 for the Best SME Business and Most Inspirational Role Model. In 2012, Cecilia won the HER Businesswoman of the Year award as well as the award for Best SME. In addition, Cecilia also founded the New Zealand Au Pair Association which has helped to lift standards and compliance in the domestic Au Pair industry. Cecilia is an expert in the field of home based childcare and youth work and travel. Having previously been an Au Pair in the United States of America, Cecilia was born in Sweden and immigrated to New Zealand in 2006. In 2010, Cecilia was named by Sweden’s prestigious Shortcut Magazine as one of the standout “Newcomers of the Year” across the fields of business, politics and entertainment. Cecilia was ranked number 34 out of 100 of Sweden’s best talent under 40 years of age. Cecilia is married to her business partner James Robinson.