KOSI ANTWIWAA YANKEY-AYEH
Mrs. Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey – Ayeh is the first person and woman to lead the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Her mandate is to strengthen and grow entrepreneurs and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Ghana.
Kosi graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School, the USA with a Master’s in Public Administration and Certificate in Public Policy. She received the 2016 excellence award for academic distinction and distinguished contribution to the Edward S Mason Programme and a grant under the “Harvard Square to Oval Office” Women in Public Policy programme to support Ghanaian women in politics.
In 2004, she received her BA in Government and a certificate in International Relations from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA. She holds a certificate in Market Access for Sustainable Development from Wageningen University, Netherlands and a certificate from a two-year Regional Entrepreneurship and Acceleration Program (REAP) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a fellow at the IE University, Spain, inaugural Gurus and Griots programme and lectures part-time in their Madrid Campus.
Kosi Yankey has had over 18 years of experience in the USA, Europe and West Africa. She started her career as an Investment Banker at Deutsche Bank on Wall Street, New York. At Deutsche, she worked on establishing the first multi-million-dollar microfinance fund set up by an investment bank. Kosi also worked and interned at numerous institutions, notable amongst them are UBS Warburg, Africa Desk, London, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Solidaridad and Engineers without Borders, Canada. Over the years, Kosi has founded and led the strategic development and growth of various ventures and projects for both international and local partners in finance and agriculture. Through her experience, she has developed a deep understanding and knowledge of Finance, Entrepreneurship, MSME Development, Policy Development, Project Design, Implementation and Fundraising.
Currently, she serves on the board of the Ghana Enterprises Agency, The Venture Capital Trust Fund and on the advisory board for the Ministry of Finance, Ghana which she has served for two terms. She also sits on the steering committee for the Rural Enterprises Programme and the Skills Development Fund amongst many others. She has given many keynotes at numerous conferences across the world and launched 2017 the Maiden Harvard Africa Alumni Forum, held in Ghana.
Under her leadership at GEA, she has transformed the institution from NBSSI, where she served as the first female Executive Director, to GEA by working closely with MOTI to get the bill passed by the Parliament of Ghana. She spearheaded with her ministry the development of Ghana’s first MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy approved by the Cabinet of Ghana. She increased GEAs budget from GHC5 million to GHC2 billion in a period of 4 years and developed the largest women entrepreneurship network WERise in Ghana. Over 300,000 MSMEs have accessed over US$200million in a two-year period, over 600,000 persons and MSMEs have received support and over 100,000 jobs have been created during her tenor. In the past 8 years, she has raised over US$500million to support the government’s entrepreneurship, job creation and MSME development agenda. She spearheaded and led the design and implementation of the government initiative and intervention that supported over 3000,000 businesses during the Covid Pandemic. The CAPBUSS Covid intervention led to an increase in small business sales by over 22% and over 50% of businesses that shut reopened based on a World Bank, UNDP and Ghana Statistical Services survey undertaken.
Kosi is married with a daughter and enjoys mentoring and supporting women across the world.