Witnessing the unfathomable poverty of his own people in Ghana ignited the spark for entrepreneur Jeff Badu. No stranger to the struggle himself, Jeff understood what it meant to go without, but it was this visit to his native country that expanded his understanding of the human condition.
“I took a trip to Ghana for about 3 months when I was 16 and that made me realize the importance of empowering others financially. That trip was a tipping point for me. The struggle that I saw, hustling for money, carrying kids on their backs. That was it. When I saw that first hand that was what let me know the importance of helping people.”
His return to the U.S. set the wheels in motion. The formerly undisciplined and trouble-making teen discovered something within. He couldn’t continue surrounding himself with the wrong people if he aspired to make any real change in the world.
“High school was a terrible experience. Got myself involved in things I wasn’t proud of. Very negative environment. The people I was surrounding myself with. I was a pretty good student but I was in the wrong crowd. Some of my friends have passed, some are in jail.
I became detail oriented as a freshman in college. Everything was organized. I had my planner, documented everything, had classes, leisure, and blocked off time for work. You have to make sure you manage your time effectively. In other words, don’t waste time. I don’t have time to waste.”
He aligned his newfound ambition with a sole mission, help other hungry and ambitious individuals. The path to financial prosperity was clear, he needed to build a successful business for himself and teach others to do the same. Though he had it all charted out, Jeff was keenly aware of the endurance necessary to create such an entreprise. For years he proceeded meticulously before he decided it was time to go all in.
“For me it took 6 years before I got to this stage. I was doing tax preparation on the side, sometimes for free, building a client base before I got to where I am. Now I have people working for me, and a healthy client base that allows me to continue to grow.”
Practice and perseverance paid off as he’s now found himself as the CEO of a small empire. tax preparation, real estate, and financial literacy to name a few of the industries in which he’s touched. Now the continuation of his mission is being achieved through two vehicles, education and philanthropy.
Jeff provides classes for financial literacy for his customers and for free. He’s dedicated his time to teaching others about the skills and tools necessary for financial independence. The volume of material he’s published through his personal website offers a glimpse at the breadth of his knowledge.
“The true definition of purpose is what god placed you on the planet for. When you didn’t get paid for it, but it makes you happy, that’s purpose. Teaching financial literacy is something for me that I love doing no matter if I’m tired or what.”
Jeff’s also realized the need to invest in his community, specifically in the other little kids just like him. The Jeff Badu Foundation was created to provide opportunities to the overlooked kids that can benefit the most. He created something he wished he had at a younger age.
“The Badu Foundation will be launching in 2020. I’m looking for people who are serious about advancing financially. I’m specifically looking for youth between the ages of 8-21 who are serious about advancing when it comes to money. Who are willing to be taught about money. We will give out a seminar, a five-ten week program of workshops. At the end we will be giving scholarships or seed capital to help them get ahead.”
The Chicago boy with Ghanaian roots has planted the seeds of opportunity for himself and others. The roots of his legacy will be the blooming stories of accolades and achievement that he fosters through his education and philanthropy. Through disciplined edification he’s begun to reverse narratives and create a legacy that will outlast his last dollar.