Having graduated in marketing and management, Bruno Rousset decided to specialise in insurance, and went on to join the Advanced Management Programme at EM Lyon. He began his career in this sector in 1978, at Mutualité Française. In 1979 he joined UPESE, a retirement and personal protection group, as head of personal protection, then deputy director.
In 1988 Bruno Rousset began his entrepreneurial adventure and decided to establish the APRIL group with the firm intention of changing the insurance world. The company became successful quickly, by putting customers at the heart of its organisation.
Everything was based on setting the business apart, both in terms of product innovation and the high level of customer service. Today the group has operations in 34 countries and employs 3,800 people.
To mark this success, the entrepreneur from Lyon received the ‘Entrepreneur of the year award’ in 2004 which pays tribute to the most dynamic French businesses. This award recognised APRIL’s continued achievements.
A born entrepreneur, Bruno Rousset is also a visionary and committed man. What drives him? Promoting entrepreneurship and helping businesses grow. These convictions led him to establish the EVOLEM holding in 1997. The aim was to help businesses grow in order to support their future projects: “Creating things is good, but prospering is even better ! “ he states.
Since it was established, EVOLEM has supported 83 businesses in France and abroad and has invested € 200M. Today, Bruno Rousset and his 17-person team contribute towards the development of industry platform in various increasingly consolidated niche markets and the development of startups.
EVOLEM Platform has an entrepreneurial approach to investment based on a long-term strategic vision to promote growth in consolidating industries. EVOLEM Start was founded to accompany innovative projects in their business development.
But Bruno Rousset never stops! Creation is his way of making progress. “It is important to me to pass on this passion for initiative to those interested, by enabling them to be enterprising in their own lives”.
Based on this conviction, he set up the Entrepreneurs de la Cité Foundation in 2006 offering everyone the opportunity to access entrepreneurship. The foundation offers community micro-insurance which is one-of-its kind in France. Then, in 2008, with the APRIL Foundation, his ambition was to contribute towards a fairer, more united society. The aim of this foundation is to enable everyone to take charge of their own health and to work together to contribute towards the sustainability of the health system and to facilitate the integration of disadvantaged young people.
With EVOLEM Citoyen, an endowment fund set up in 2014, Bruno Rousset began to focus on training and professional integration for young people who were badly affected by unemployment, by assessing the effectiveness of public spending and highlighting positive initiatives in this area.
In 2015, EVOLEM CITOYEN created the website key4job, aimed specifically at getting young people into work. Today there are more than a few hundred support initiatives, projects and programmes which are listed and freely accessible thanks to this website.
In 2017, EVOLEM CITOYEN and EVOLEM teamed up with INSIGN in order to co-found EDENSCHOOL. This school is aimed at less than 18 year-olds who had been excluded or risked being excluded from mainstream schools. EDENSCHOOL welcomed its first pupils in September 2017 in Villeurbanne.
At the beginning of 2019, Bruno Rousset is proud of EVOLEM to be one of the founders of L’Entreprise des Possibles. This group of companies, situated in the Lyon area, was created by Alain Mérieux, with the goal of supporting the homeless and the most vulnerable.
Following the April’s sell-off of the 13th of June 2019, Bruno Rousset has become April’s Honorary Chairman and works with Evolem’s team on innovative and social projects.