Moving to the U.S. let an immigrant from Ghana realize his entrepreneurial destiny.
By Amanda C. Kooser
Ablade Odoi-Atsem moved to the United States from Ghana in 1984 and realized his long-held goal of becoming an entrepreneur when he launched Odoi Associates Inc. in 1998. As founder and president of the construction, facility and energy management services company in Greenbelt, Maryland, he has overseen an impressive growth curve. Odoi-Atsem funded the startup by maxing out his personal credit, and the business has since grown into an $8.2 million venture. His success formula is simple: "I [am] lucky to have selected the right group of people to work with."
Government contracts are a huge part of what the business does. "Have a good relationship with the people who make the decisions in the federal arena," Odoi-Atsem, 53, advises. Networking and relationships are also important when it comes to government work.
And as for the future of Odoi Associates, he's got big plans to venture into new frontiers. "The future of the company is to make sure that we diversify, go heavily into private sector work, and grow nationwide and internationally," says the entrepreneur, who's been able to focus his talent for construction and engineering on building a thriving business.