March 25, 2023 – Janice Bryant Howroyd, An Example of Black Excellence

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Janice Bryant Howroyd is the first African American woman to build and own a billion-dollar company.  Her company earns $1.1 billion per year. Her net worth is put at $420 million.

In 1978, her mother loaned her $900 and added her own $600 to start her business. She started as a full-time placement company in California.  Now her company provides employment, workforce management and procurement solutions to Fortune 500 organizations, local and mid-market companies and government agencies.  She has more than 17,000 clients in 19 countries, including the United States, Canada, Denmark, Brazil and the United Kingdom.  The company has more than 2,800 employees.

She became one of the first staffing agencies on the Web with the launch of the Act-One Group ( The Act-One Group includes a technology and management solutions company, Agile One (, and a background checks and screening company called A-Check Global ( 

Her books entitled The Art of Work – How to Make Work Work for You! and Acting Up – Winning in Business and Life Using Down-Home Wisdom may be purchased on Amazon.

Janice Bryant Howroyd was born in Tarboro, North Carolina, the fourth of eleven children in her family. She went to segregated schools until the 11th grade. She learned from textbooks with missing pages. Her mother said figure out the missing information, write it down and tape it in the book for the next person.  When she complained about her lack of resources, her father challenged her to continue to be better. Her mother taught the principles of making lots from nothing.

She graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina A&T University), where she now sits on the Board of Trustees. President Obama appointed her to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She sits on the Harvard’s Women Leadership Board and the Board of USC’s Marshall School of Business. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and a board member of numerous organizations.

Mrs. Howroyd funds scholarships at numerous schools and organizations.

Her son is president of Act One Group and her daughter oversees the company’s online branding. 

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