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Essence
October 2002

IF THESE THREE WOMEN DID IT, SO CAN YOU!
(excerpt)

A Philosophy of Wealth
Janice Bryant Howroyd

Janice Bryant Howroyds $1,500 investment has yielded amazing returns. With $967 in savings and $533 in loans from her mother and brother, she founded ACT•1 Personnel Services in Beverly Hills, California, in 1978. It has grown into a diversified company, the ACT•1 Group in Torrance, California, with 75 offices nationwide and projected revenues of $260 million in 2002.

Howroyd, who is from Tarboro, North Carolina, says her personnel business made money from day one. It doesnt take a genius to do the arithmetic, she says, but it takes a gift to make it multiply. She shares the credit with some of her siblings (shes one of 11 children), who brought different yet valuable skills to the business.

Before going into business for herself, Howroyd, whos in her late forties, worked for the American Red Cross, helping families in emergencies; the National Academy of Sciences, where she researched and edited reports; and a company that created training programs for Fortune 500 companies.

Part of her motivation for starting an employment agency was a desire to bolster self-esteem among African-Americans by helping them find jobs. Her marketing strategy in those early days was low-tech: She distributed flyers and made countless telephone calls to drum up business.

She says racism is still a factor in the employment industry. "Its hard to manage through it, she adds. You just learn to manage around and beyond it."

But thats not her only message. I know people who truly made knuckle-bleeding sacrifices, she says. Coming from a town filled with folks who knew the roots of pain and sacrifice has always reminded her to stay humble.

Press contact:
Chuck Pearson
ACT•1 Group
Director of Marketing
(310) 750-3400
cpearson@act-1.com

 

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