Bola Bardet serves as the visionary behind Susu, a startup committed to enhancing healthcare services for the African diaspora, enabling them to provide top-tier care for their loved ones in their home countries. Susu’s comprehensive range of services encompasses preventive healthcare, comprehensive medical coverage locally and internationally, emergency healthcare, and pharmaceutical delivery. As the driving force behind this cutting-edge social enterprise, Bola Bardet is dedicated to pioneering innovative healthcare solutions that enhance the well-being of African communities.
Currently based in Switzerland, Bola’s journey with Susu was ignited by a personal tragedy in 2017 when she tragically lost her father due to the inadequacies of the healthcare system in her native Benin. Bola’s educational background is impressive; she holds an Executive MBA from HEC in Paris, is a Chartered Financial Analyst accredited by the CFA Institute, and has completed entrepreneurship programs at Babson College in San Francisco and innovation and social business programs at the University of Cape Town.
Ensuring the well-being of family members in their home countries is a pressing concern for the 33 million members of the African diaspora who provide support to approximately 120 million people back home. However, only a fraction of the funds they send back is effectively utilized for healthcare purposes.
Throughout the continent, factors such as population growth, increased life expectancy, urbanization, and inflation have significantly influenced lifestyles and households in Africa. Consequently, there has been a notable surge in chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, placing an immense strain on the healthcare system.
She intends to kickstart the expansion of her startup into African markets and improve the services offered in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Cameroon. To achieve this goal, in March 2022, she successfully secured $1 million in pre-seed funding and an additional $1.2 million in debt and grant financing from BPI France.
In 2019, she achieved victory in the Sanofi challenge, courtesy of Susu, during the Viva Tech conference. Furthermore, in 2022, she has earned recognition as a finalist in the Female Founder Challenge, a collaborative effort between Viva Tech and 50inTech.
Bola Bardet is among the 20 finalists at Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Semi-Finals in Kigali, Rwanda. Currently, Susu operates in three francophone African countries: Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Gabon. Winning the African Business Heroes 2023 competition would provide SUSU with better exposure and additional funds to expand their impact.