emlyon business school International MBA participant Florence Robineau Bourgneuf, one of the youngest participants in the 2017 cohort, joined the program with an already impressive CV including international experience for a leading luxury brand and starting her own business.
With a French and Brazilian background, she completed her studies in France and upon graduation was offered a job as a Junior Brand Manager for L’Oréal in Mexico City. Jumping on this unique opportunity, she then spent a number of years working in Mexico City through which she gained invaluable experience.
At the age of 26, Florence decided to launch her own company with two friends - Francia en Casa.
“What motivated me was that many of my friends were launching small start-ups around me which was very exciting to hear and not so hard to implement as I thought. We saw that there was space for an Au Pair agency, which didn’t exist for this market exclusively, so we decided to create Francia en Casa, which brings French culture in the Mexican homes through young French people who also take care of the family kids.
Of course we faced challenges and even failures which was a very good thing at the beginning, as it helped us to adjust and improve our business model! As we were the first agency in Mexico, we felt very confident and started to raise interest of many people. The main barriers were actually the financial part, and the fact that convincing the Mexican families to host a French au pair would take some time, as you need to build a real trusting relationship with them which is not easy when you have small experience in the industry.”
In 2017 Florence decided to return to France and chose the International MBA programme at emlyon business school as her re-entry point. She was looking to gain further skills and knowledge about entrepreneurship to grow her actual business and create new ones in the future, but also wanted to keep her options open with evolving her professional career in marketing for the cosmetics industry, potentially leaning towards strategy consulting and business development.
“The programme is helping me to refresh many important notions like strategy, marketing, economics but in a very practical way through many study cases. This helps in understanding how to better apprehend things in a fast moving business-world. Concerning the specialisations, I chose Finance and Entrepreneurship. The courses really give me strong tools and make me feel more confident professionally.”
And what are Florence’s plans for her start-up in Mexico?
“We have big objectives for this year and the following one! We just launched our new webpage and we will soon expand to Colombia and Argentina. The more exchanges that we do, the more trust gain with current and future families. We hope to be and stay leaders of the Latin America market for French Au Pair exchanges.”