The founder and CEO Act 1 Group, an employment agency and consultancy, is the first African-American woman to operate a company that brings in upwards of $1 billion in annual revenue.
She moved to Los Angeles from her hometown of Tarboro, N.C., in 1976 with just $900 to her name, according to The Los Angeles Times. Two years later, she founded Act 1 despite not even owning a fax machine — just a phone. She grew the company through word of mouth, and by adding new types of services based on client needs.
In an interview with CNBC, Howroyd said, “being the first African American woman to achieve anything in 2016 is not an accomplishment. … While I accept that applause with all the gratitude I can muster, the best thing I can be applauded for is simply being a woman building a great business.”