Monday, January 25, 2021

Meet #BlackGirlMagic Janice Bryant Howroyd… and How She Built a Billion Dollar Empire

Janice Bryant Howroyd*Janice Bryant Howroyd is the Black girl magic behind the staffing solutions firm, ActOne Group, and her company is reportedly on the cusp of bagging $3 billion in revenue.

“If realized, that would be a $200 million revenue gain for the nation’s largest certified, woman-minority-owned full-service staffing agency,” Black Enterprise writes.

The outlet also notes that “Howroyd’s business is a BE 100s company, capturing the No. 2 spot on the Black Enterprise annual listing of America’s largest black-owned businesses.”

BE caught up with Howroyd to dish about her new book, “Acting Up: Winning In Business and Life Using Down-Home Wisdom,” and the future of her company. Peep excerpts from the conversation below.

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Janice Bryant Howroyd

BE: Where do you see future growth coming from for your company?

Bryant Howroyd: One of the areas of growth I’m pumped about is our newest 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.

AllSTEM fulfills the work and the dream I have engaged in guiding careers and transforming a business! It was only natural I turned to one of my most valuable executives, Peter Carvalho, to lead this initiative of creating a multi-generational talent stream of uniquely-skilled jobsters to connect with companies worldwide.

It’s not just exciting for me to ‘play’ in this STEM sector; it’s a mission. Ensuring minorities and women are getting the champion career sponsorship and guidance that we are so good at means a lot to me. AllSTEM offers direct hire and contract opportunities to the diverse community working population, of which I am a part.

What are among the biggest ongoing challenges for your company and how do you overcome them?

The inherent challenges minorities and women face are not dispensed based upon size and often–surprising to many–grow larger as the businesses grow. One area that is as rich in challenges as in opportunities is making the right technology decisions. Develop, buy, or aggregate? This is a very green space; and for any company not engaging true technologists to help make decisions, obsolescence can quickly occur. This is an expensive decision area, as well. So, I, like any leader, must keep learning in this iterative area.

As a noted top executive in your industry and a towering inspiration for many black entrepreneurs, what prompted you to write the book now?

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!

You have been phenomenally successful as a black woman entrepreneur. What top advice would you give to the next generation of black entrepreneurs before they open or expand a business? 

The advice I’d give to the next generation of black entrepreneurs on opening or expanding a business is the same I’d give to any entrepreneur: Be clear about why you’re doing it and honest to those who invest it in. Have a vetted, banked recovery plan for year two that sustains the business if it’s expanding. Respect the power of technology. Share the rise. Keep your Black Enterprisesubscriptions updated and followed! And…for black entrepreneurs: Racism isn’t dead, but don’t you help to keep it alive!

Read the full Q&A here

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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