Former gang member U-turns to become CEO of successful company

Former gang member U-turns to become CEO of successful company

- Jeff Badu is the founder of Badu Enterprises, a multinational conglomerate that owns several companies

- The US-based Ghanaian entrepreneur aims to have a global presence in the next five years

- Badu is a former gang member who shared the experiences that helped reset his path in life

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At the age of eight, Ghanaian native, Jeff Badu, moved to the United States. During his decade-long stay in the country, he joined a gang, a major distraction that nearly destroyed his future.

Badu was headed down a dangerous road until he visited his native Ghana in 2008 and made some life-altering discoveries.

During his visit, Badu engaged in a conversation with an aunt which helped him to change his path in life.

Face2Face Africa writes that some of his former gang mates who were not fortunate enough to have a family member help them to reset their lives are now either dead or in jail.

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Badu recounted his experience while in Ghana which greatly influenced his decision to live a meaningful life.

Witnessing so many people being homeless, including a few of his family members, stirred him up to redirect his life to ensure that he didn’t end up like any of those people.

Badu started going to church and he decided to pursue a goal to help as many people as he possibly could.

“I had been a bad kid who surrounded myself with the wrong things, and I had almost been put in handcuffs, and I knew that had to change.”

Badu returned to the United States with a fresh mindset aimed at achieving success and that meant he had to cut ties with the gang.

Following that bold step, a determined Badu paid intense attention to his education and that showed in the grades he scored.

Badu graduated from Uplift High School and later earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Illinois.

However, the brutal killing of his close friend, who was in the process of helping somebody change a tyre at a gas filling station, greatly impacted the course of his life.

Badu blamed himself for the killing of his friend, stating:

''I felt very responsible for that because I had turned my life around but I didn’t go ahead and turn other people’s lives around at that time.''

That traumatising experience motivated him to start his own company, and eventually he became what is known as a serial entrepreneur.

Face2Face Africa reports that Badu is currently a licensed CPA and founder of Badu Enterprises, LLC, a multinational conglomerate that owns several companies: Badu Tax Services, LLC, a CPA firm that specialises in tax preparation, tax planning and tax representation for individuals and businesses; and Badu Investments, LLC, which is primarily a real estate investment company.

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Badu Investments, LLC acquires residential and commercial real estate properties in areas such as the south side of Chicago in efforts to restore traditionally underserved areas.

Badu started his first business plan as an 18-year-old during his freshman year at the University of Illinois, where he has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the Gies College of Business.

Badu’s company serves 1 500 clients in all 50 states and in Canada, China, Russia, Liberia and India, and Badu now has 21 independent tax preparers working as contractors under his firm’s umbrella.

Badu’s goal is to have a global company with 50 contractors and an office in the United Kingdom within the next 12 months.

The 26-year-old plans to have 10 000-plus clients, 250 independent contractors and offices around the world within five years.

Badu revealed: ''We’re trying to do something very, very big, and we’re looking to become the No. 1 tax firm in the world.''

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