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After 30 years in business Janice Bryant Howroyd has emerged as one of the most successful Black entrepeneurs in the world. While most know that Oprah Winfrey is the first Black woman to become a self-made billionaire, Bryant Howroyd is the first African-American businesswoman to own a a company worth over a billion.

Bryant Howroyd is the founder and CEO of The Act-1 Group, the nation’s largest woman-owned and minority-owned employment agency. Based in Torrance, Calif., the company has offices in over 75 cities across the country and has shown continual growth with Bryant Howroyd at the helm.

Born September 1, 1952 in Tarboro, North Carolina Bryant Howroyd attended North Carolina A&T University. After graduation, she took her talents to California and worked for Billboard Magazine. In 1976 while still at the magazine, Bryant Howroyd established The Act-1 Group in Beverly Hills with Billboard as her first client with just $900 to her name.

Bryant Howroyd has won several awards for her entrepreneurial achievements, including the Spirit of American Enterprise Presidential Award in 2005, and BET’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008. The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding awarded Bryant Howroyd with the Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award and she has also been recognized by Black Enterprise.

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