Welcome to our blog series dedicated to identifying and celebrating the pathfinders of tomorrow. The YEWGlobal Blog publishes success stories and interviews of selected individuals who have succeeded tremendously in their respective fields by using their creative minds, life skills, and educational backgrounds to beat systematic behaviours that do not always favour the youth.
This week, we shine lights on a young entrepreneur whose story inspires others to reach for the stars. In the daunting journey of entrepreneurship, countless stories emerge, however, some stand out as a symbol of grit, determination, and success. A young visionary is treading a path exclusive to only a few brilliant minds. She has a flourishing business portfolio and shows no signs of holding back. Meet Ms. Queenie Adu Amankwah Kessie, the award-winning entrepreneur.
Ms. Queenie Amankwah Kessie
Queenie Adu Amankwah Kessies’s journey to owning multiple businesses in Africa is a testament to resilience and hard work. She is the founder of EMAS Agency with three subsidiaries, the CEO of Zillionaire Avenue, a business coach, and a philanthropist. Indeed, she has proven to be a master of her craft. Her entrepreneurial journey began with the founding of EMAS Agency, a multifaceted company embodying her vision of excellence, motivation, achievement, and success. She possesses a plethora of expertise that spans various niches, including talent management through EMAS Music, and facilitating cross-border partnerships by connecting startups in Belgium with experts from Ghana through EMAS Jobs. Additionally, she has ventured into EMAS Commodity Resources, bridging clients in industries such as oil, real estate, gold, cement, honey, and agriculture, while managing her clothing line, Zillionaire Avenue. Despite such astounding achievements, she looks to achieve more.
In 2023, she was awarded the Africa’s Under 40 CEOs Award in recognition of her impressive career. She has also garnered other prestigious awards and nominations such as Ghanaians in Belgium Excellence Award, including an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration. Recently, she has taken up a role as the Executive Secretary in Africa's Under 40 Forum, working to foster growth and innovation in the business landscape. Her great mind and entrepreneurial spirit are actively shaping her continent, a dream that will undoubtedly endure.
This rising star is driven by a life purpose beyond herself. She pours her life into her craft to create opportunities for many others, a passion that brings her a profound sense of satisfaction. Her gracious philanthropic gesture to many young minds is an attestation that she aims to live beyond her lifetime, creating reminders of her life everywhere she goes. Like many other entrepreneurs, Queenie's journey was not without challenges. From navigating gender biases and balancing multiple ventures, she draws strength from her unwavering passion to impact lives and the memory of her late sister, Emmanuella Amankwa Sarfo.
As Queenie Adu Amankwah Kessie's journey continues, her legacy as a change-maker and inspiration will undoubtedly endure. Her contributions to the empowerment of the African youth, and dedication to nurturing talents and dreams will stand as a beacon for more aspiring entrepreneurs.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. For example: (Your name, what you do, your educational background, achievements, basically everything that makes you who you are today.
I am Queenie Adu Amankwah Kessie, a 30-year-old Ghanaian entrepreneur, born and raised in Belgium. I have a background in Chemistry and graduated as a labourer. Alongside my main degree, I've taken additional courses in therapeutic consulting, business success coaching, NLP coaching, and technology sales. Before becoming a full-time entrepreneur, I spent 7 years working in a Pharmacy while pursuing my studies. It was a challenging but rewarding time, as I managed to work full-time and study on the side, expanding my skillset and knowledge. In addition to my ventures, I am honoured to serve as the Executive Secretary for Africa's Under 40 CEO Forum. Being part of this esteemed organization allows me to connect with other visionary leaders and work towards fostering growth and innovation in the African business landscape.
I am proud to have received several awards and nominations, which include Africa's Under 40 CEO's Awards, Ghanaians in Belgium Excellence Award, Honorary Doctorate: Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration, Creative Achievers & Entrepreneurs Festival and Global Youth Arts and Entrepreneurs Festival. These awards and recognitions signify the dedication and hard work that my team and I have put into our ventures, and they motivate me to continue striving for excellence. Besides EMAS Agency, I also established EMAS Music, where I focus on talent management.
Additionally, I founded EMAS Jobs, a platform connecting citizens in Ghana with remote job opportunities from start-ups in Belgium. I also have a clothing line called Zillionaire Avenue – it’s a manifestation brand. Another venture of mine is EMAS Commodity Resources, where I work as an intermediary, connecting clients involved in oil, honey, cement, real estate, gold, and agriculture. Beyond my entrepreneurial endeavours, I'm also deeply involved in philanthropy through my NGO called "Better Africa Today." Furthermore, I am enthusiastic about my project "African Business Empire," which aims to motivate the diaspora to invest in the African continent, contributing to its growth and development. I am passionate about entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for others. I need to make a positive impact on both local and international communities.
2. Now, tell us about your journey as a young entrepreneur.
My entrepreneurial journey started after I got fired from my job at the pharmacy during the last three months of my studies. At that moment, I realized it was a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to focus on completing my studies without the additional strain of a full-time job. Embracing this new chapter, I channelled all my energy into building my ventures. I founded EMAS Agency, EMAS Music, EMAS Jobs, and EMAS Commodity Resources, each representing my commitment to excellence and achieving success in various domains. The name (EMAS) holds a special meaning to me. It is the initials of my little sister, Emmanuella Amankwa Sarfo, whom I tragically lost during the pandemic due to vaccination complications. She was not only my sister but also my number-one fan, my support system, and my motivation. Her unwavering belief in me kept me going, especially during challenging times. I remember a letter she wrote when I contemplated giving up on my chemistry studies, where she encouraged me not to worry and expressed her unyielding belief in me as her role model. She was my sunshine, and I am forever grateful for the love and inspiration she brought into my life. I graduated just one month after she passed away, and while she couldn't be there to celebrate my achievement, I know she is proud of me from above. EMAS has become a powerful tribute to her memory and a constant reminder of her support and encouragement. Moreover, EMAS has evolved to be known as the acronym for Excellence, Motivation, Achievement, and Success – values that I aim to embody in all my endeavours. My sister's influence continues to drive me forward, and I dedicate every success to her memories.
3. Why did you consider taking your career path as the Chief executive officer of several companies?
Taking the career path as the Chief Executive Officer of multiple companies aligns with my natural inclination toward creativity and innovation. I have a constant flow of new business ideas, and my mind is brimming with possibilities every second. However, due to budget constraints, I recognize that it's not feasible to execute all these ideas simultaneously. As a business coach, I understand the importance of focus and strategic decision-making. Hence, I carefully choose which ventures to pursue, ensuring that each one receives the attention it deserves to thrive. Despite this, I hold onto the belief that one day, with dedication and hard work, I will achieve my ultimate vision of becoming a "zillionaire" and bringing all my entrepreneurial goals to fruition. Being at the helm of multiple companies allows me to explore various industries, seize diverse opportunities, and create a lasting impact on different sectors. It is both a challenge and an opportunity that fuels my entrepreneurial spirit and drives me to keep pushing the boundaries of success.
4. What have been the challenges and benefits of being a young female entrepreneur?
As a young female entrepreneur, I have encountered both challenges and opportunities on my entrepreneurial journey. One of the challenges I've faced is missing out on certain opportunities due to individuals who want to mix business with pleasure. However, I firmly believe in my capacity as a female entrepreneur, and I am committed to maintaining a professional and respectful approach in all business dealings. While some may attempt to undermine my abilities, I know that my success is not dependent on compromising my principles. I've learned to navigate these situations with assertiveness and unwavering self-belief. As a result, I have built a strong reputation based on merit, professionalism, and the value I bring to the table. The benefit of being a young female entrepreneur is that I can bring a fresh perspective to the business world and connect with a diverse audience. My determination, resilience, and creativity empower me to challenge norms and inspire others. By embracing my identity as a female entrepreneur, I strive to be a role model for aspiring women in business, showcasing that success can be achieved through hard work, talent, and integrity.
5. In your opinion, what does it take for one to be a successful young entrepreneur?
In my opinion, becoming a successful young entrepreneur requires a combination of several key factors. Firstly, it demands a strong mindset and unwavering determination. Entrepreneurship is not an easy path, and it often involves facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. Having the right mindset enables you to stay resilient, learn from failures, and keep moving forward. Character is equally essential for success as a young entrepreneur. Upholding integrity, honesty, and ethical conduct in all business dealings builds trust with clients, partners, and stakeholders. Embracing humility and openness to learning allows for personal and professional growth. One aspect that I find crucial in my entrepreneurial journey is the involvement of God from the beginning. Normalizing seeking guidance from a higher power and praying for direction is vital. Praying for divine guidance and the gift of discernment to make the right decisions helps navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship. As a young entrepreneur, it's essential to understand that rejection is not a sign of failure but rather redirection. Embracing rejection as a natural part of the journey allows you to learn from experiences and pivot towards better opportunities. Being open to redirection can lead to new paths and unexpected successes.
Our goal should not solely be making money, but rather adding value, solving problems, and being unique in our field to stand out. By prioritizing these aspects, we set ourselves on a path to genuine success and long-lasting impact. As entrepreneurs, our mission should be to create innovative solutions that address real-world challenges and improve the lives of people. Moreover, we should aim to be so influential that our legacy goes from generation to generation. Building a brand that goes beyond financial success and leaves a positive mark on society is a worthy aspiration. By centring our efforts on adding value, problem-solving, uniqueness, influence, and creating a lasting legacy, we align our businesses with a higher purpose. Financial success becomes a natural by-product of our commitment to making a meaningful difference in the world.
6. As a young inspiring individual, what would you say drives you to always want to achieve more in life? What are your sources of motivation?
As a young and aspiring individual, my motivation stems from my relentless pursuit of my goals. I have an array of ambitions and aspirations that drive me forward each day. I firmly believe that blessings don't come merely to me, but through me, and that my success can be a vehicle for uplifting others. My goals extend beyond personal achievements; they are generational goals aimed at making a positive impact on the African continent. At least 80% of what I aim to accomplish is rooted in creating opportunities, uplifting communities, and contributing to the growth and development of the continent I deeply care about. Knowing that my endeavours can create a lasting legacy that will benefit future generations fuels my determination to achieve more in life. I find fulfilment in the idea that my hard work and success can inspire others to dream big and strive for greatness. Every day, I am driven by the desire to leave a lasting mark on the world and contribute to the betterment of society. It is this sense of purpose that pushes me to overcome challenges and seize new opportunities fearlessly.
7. In your opinion, how would you measure success?
For me, success is not solely defined by financial achievements, but by the positive impact I make in the lives of others and the legacy I leave behind. Success is also about continuous growth, both personally and professionally. 8. How important is it for you to do what you love and be successful at it? Answer 8: Doing what I love and being successful at it is of utmost importance to me. I believe that the best job is one where you are getting paid to execute your hobby. It's a privilege to turn your passion into a successful career. Many well-known professionals, such as footballers, artists, fashion designers, and chef cooks, exemplify this notion perfectly. When you are deeply passionate about what you do, work becomes more than just a job; it becomes a source of joy and fulfilment. It enables you to pour your heart and soul into your craft, resulting in exceptional outcomes and continuous improvement. In my case, being an entrepreneur and pursuing various ventures aligns perfectly with my creative spirit. I find joy in exploring new opportunities, solving problems, and making a positive impact. This passion-driven approach empowers me to maintain enthusiasm even during challenging times, driving me to excel in my endeavours. By doing what we love, we can create a harmonious blend of work and pleasure, enhancing our overall quality of life and achieving a profound sense of satisfaction in our accomplishments.
8. How important is it for you to do what you love and be successful at it?
Doing what I love and being successful at it is of utmost importance to me. I believe that the best job is one where you are getting paid to execute your hobby. It's a privilege to turn your passion into a successful career. Many well-known professionals, such as footballers, artists, fashion designers, and chef cooks, exemplify this notion perfectly. When you are deeply passionate about what you do, work becomes more than just a job; it becomes a source of joy and fulfilment. It enables you to pour your heart and soul into your craft, resulting in exceptional outcomes and continuous improvement. In my case, being an entrepreneur and pursuing various ventures aligns perfectly with my creative spirit. I find joy in exploring new opportunities, solving problems, and making a positive impact. This passion-driven approach empowers me to maintain enthusiasm even during challenging times, driving me to excel in my endeavours. By doing what we love, we can create a harmonious blend of work and pleasure, enhancing our overall quality of life and achieving a profound sense of satisfaction in our accomplishments.
9. What advice would you give any individual trying to venture into the energy sector?
Venturing into the energy sector, particularly renewable energy, offers significant advantages, especially amid growing concerns about climate change. Renewable energy contributes to combating climate change, ensures sustainability and longevity, fosters economic growth, and promotes energy independence. Leveraging technological advancements and government support also enhances a positive reputation and brand value. Most importantly, engaging in renewable energy allows entrepreneurs to make a meaningful contribution to the greater good, leaving a lasting legacy of environmental stewardship and progress for future generations. Advice for someone venturing into the energy business:
1. Conduct thorough research on the energy sector and renewable technologies.
2. Prioritise environmental responsibility with sustainable solutions.
3. Explore government incentives and supportive policies.
4. Foster partnerships with stakeholders, including communities and organisations.
5. Invest in technological advancements for efficiency and innovation.
6. Plan finances carefully for capital-intensive projects.
7. Engage and involve local communities in your initiatives.
8. Maintain a long-term vision and focus on sustainability.
9. Seek advice and collaboration from energy experts.
10. Be resilient, adaptable, and open to learning from challenges.
10. Are you on any social media platforms?
The team at YEWGlobal wishes Queenie Adu Amankwah Kessie all the best in her next endeavours. We can't wait to have an update on your success journey.
We hope you enjoyed this week's edition of the YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE WEEK.
See you all soon.