Meet the first black woman to own a billion-dollar company which is now eyeing $3bn in revenues

Michael Eli Dokosi September 24, 2019
Janice Bryant Howroyd. Pic credit: CNBC

Despite being worth $400 million already, Janice Bryant Howroyd hopes that her company, ActOne Group, will realise a $3 billion revenue by next year.

This will mean an increase from its $2.8 billion yearly revenues of 2018 and 2017.

ActOne Group, among others, offers employment, workforce, and procurement solutions to a broad range of industries, Fortune 500 organizations, local and mid-market companies, and government agencies, according to Black Enterprise.

It operates in 19 counties, has 17,00 clients, and employs more than 2,600 people. It is the nation’s largest certified, woman-minority-owned full-service staffing agency.

ActOne Group, a BE 100s company, also captured the No. 2 spot on the Black Enterprise annual listing of America’s largest black-owned businesses.

Meet the first black woman to own a billion-dollar company which is now eyeing $3bn in revenues
Janice Bryant Howroyd (Courtesy of

For over 40 years, Howroyd has served as businesswoman and entrepreneur, becoming the first black woman to break the billion-dollar revenue mark with her company despite emerging from the segregated South.

And now the woman, who has 11 siblings, has authored a new book ‘Acting Up: Winning In Business and Life Using Down-Home Wisdom’, which touches on her journey and climb to the top.

The book also centers on various caps she’s had to wear, either as a business innovator, mentor, educator, author, ambassador or speaker while detailing growth tools and strategies for her California-based company.

“At the ActOne Group, we are a company of entrepreneurs all working under the belief that together, we win. The key thing is having an inclusive decision-making team who, once a decision is made, rally to it,” she said.

Howroyd told Black Enterprise that one of the areas of growth for her company is the new staffing brand, AllSTEM Connections Inc.

“As a diversity certified staffing agency, AllSTEM streamlines job fulfillment through expert-level recruiting and sourcing specialists who understand the nomenclature, nuances, and screening methods necessary to ensure we are delivering leading STEM talent to our clients,” she said.

Meet the first black woman to own a billion-dollar company which is now eyeing $3bn in revenues
Janice Bryant Howroyd (Courtesy of

She said that through the agency, minorities and women are getting “the champion career sponsorship and guidance” needed as the agency offers direct hire and contract opportunities to the “diverse community working populations.”

According to Howroyd, not having the right knowledge to make the right technology decisions can prove costly as obsolescence can quickly occur. This is why she believes that it is ideal for leaders to keep learning or have experts give inputs into major decisions.

On why the need for the new book, Howroyd said:  

“Over the last two years, I’ve visited many campuses and attended many conferences. The questions I’m most asked at these are the ones I answer in Acting Up!”

The experienced businesswoman also mentioned that most entrepreneurs are not able to make profits due to the following: lack of financial advice, poor hiring practices, and the absence of strong banking relationships.

In rounding things up, the author of ‘Acting Up’ stated that “for black entrepreneurs: Racism isn’t dead, but don’t you help to keep it alive!”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 24, 2019


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