Charlotte Diakite

Name: A3 Contracting
Location: Linden, NJ

Charlotte Diakite of A3 Contracting is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Her grandmother owned a salon in Brooklyn during the '70s, and her father owned a gas station. She remembers engaging with the receipts and papers as a child and taking notes. In a way, she feels that her entrepreneurial spirit was innate in her and her husband and business partner, Abdoulaye, who also came from a culture of business owners.

Charlotte earned a business degree and said her niche is organizing, leading, encouraging, and putting the pieces together. She enjoys visualizing and bringing a concept to completion. Mr. and Ms. Diakite came to UCEDC about ten years ago when she went into an industry she knew nothing about. That's when she met UCEDC's Ellen McHenry, who Charlotte says was so honest that, "from that moment I knew, that was the type of energy and truthfulness that I needed." Since then, Charlotte has utilized UCEDC's training, lending, and government contracting services. When speaking of UCEDC, she says, "Y'all are my business team! I owe UCEDC and Ellen McHenry a lot!"

A3 Contracting is currently working on a project to bring an Italian gelato franchise to America with its first U.S. location in Bloomfield. She continues to contact her "team" at UCEDC to get leads and guidance on government contracts. When asked what's next, she jokes, "retirement." In the meantime, Charlotte says, A3 seeks to continue its commitment to quality service and strong relationships as a small company making a big impact.