Janice Bryant Howroyd

Janice Bryant Howroyd in 1978 turned a $900 dollar loan into a billion-dollar business — and you may be surprised how she got there.

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the founder and CEO of ActOne Group, a global enterprise that provides employment, workforce management, and procurement solutions. She is the first Black woman to own a billion-dollar business and has a net worth of $390 million.

For every success story, there are moments that lead up to that journey which often times are filled with setbacks. However, it is in those setbacks that we find and learn value within ourselves. It is during that season, where our path to the journey of success begins. In the case of Janice Bryant Howroyd, she has a remarkable story to tell.

In Janice’s case, she saw value in people — not things. She noticed many employers viewed employees as simply a business asset and nothing more. In an interview with NBCNews.com she said the following:

 “I met with several employment companies, and they had posters on the wall and dollar signs by each applicant’s name, it made me feel like a commodity and not a person.”

Rather than accepting the status quo, she decided to make the industry better and implement huge improvements over hiring strategies. She ensured that employees felt inspired and encouraged during the work placement process. “If the employees are placed well and are happy, the companies they work for will do well,” she says.

Janice has built her company into a billion-dollar business with more than 17,000 clients and 2,600 employees in 22 countries.

Janice Bryant Howroyd

Janice explains her full story and her residual success in the new book Acting Up. For the 9-5 employee that wants to start their own business or the entrepreneur who is ready to give up on their start-up, her book gives faith and encouragement to keep pressing forward. She shares key touchstones in her book such as life-long education, asking the right questions, and never compromise. Had Janice not followed these rules, she wouldn’t be the woman she is today, nor would she have carved a blazing trail for more Black women entrepreneurs to own billion-dollar businesses.

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If Janice did it, so can you.