Assiatou Diallo, founder of TAAB Commercial Cleaning, has a story that inspires her clients and those who work for her. Her indomitable spirit and zest for life, combined with a true sense of giving back, represents the values she’s established for TAAB.
Born in the small West African country of Guinea, Assiatou endured many hardships growing up, including physical abuse. “Assi” knew it was up to her to survive, so she set out to secure a better life, one step at a time. At first, she worked in a gas station to support herself while going to school. After college, she worked for a company that provided water pumps to rural areas to access water. Although being away from home was challenging for a young girl, it would be the first of several work and personal moves that would take her to Germany, France, Gambia and eventually Canada. During that time, Assiatou worked in everything from cosmetics and fragrance sales, to child care and security services. When she arrived in Montreal, Assiatou was expecting a child. She immediately became involved in volunteering and returned to school to study human resources at the well-known business school, HEC Montreal. Then she came to Toronto, fluent in French and German, but without a word of English. Back to school again at College Boreal, life was difficult. She lived in a shelter (transitional housing) to keep a roof over her and her son’s head. During that time, she upgraded her skills at Woodgreen through the Boundless Possibilities for Woman Program. After two years, Assiatou was able to move out of the shelter and get her own apartment. Then she made plans for her new career. With the same enthusiasm and fighting spirit she’d always shown, in 2015, Assisatou founded TAAB Cleaning In.
In keeping with her own experience and belief in the positive empowerment of women, part of the business is a not for profit social enterprise that offers supports services for elderly and single mothers. Assiatou’s values also impact the way TAAB. She is passionate about hiring cleaning staff who might not otherwise get a chance because of their language skills, or because they are new to the community. She sets up her employees for success through personal encouragement and training that ensures they meet quality criteria in a learning, supportive environment.
An entrepreneur, mother, avowed feminist and “giver,” Assisatou has actively participated in initiatives supporting those around her. She is dedicated to helping others, empowering women and staying involved in her community. As her company TAAB Cleaning Inc. continues to grow, recently started a new venture – TAAB Community Care – to help seniors and single mothers by offering them free to low priced cleaning and baby-sitting services. In 2013, she was recognized by the YWCA for her success and delivered a key note speech at the YWCA Women of Distinctions awards, in recognition of her positivity and incredible perseverance. In 2017, she was nominated by the Canada International Black Women Event (CIBWE) as one of the 100 Black Women Entrepreneurs of great Potential (“100 Black Women to watch”). Her journey is exhibited at the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia to inspire other immigrants to come to Canada. Finally, in 2019, she was elected President of the MOFI (Ontario Movement of Francophone Immigrant Women). MOFIF supports Francophone immigrant women in their development socially, economically, personally, culturally and as a citizen of the wider society.