Behind Her Empire Podcast: How A $900 Loan Turned Into a Billion Dollar Business

Behind Her Empire Podcast: How A $900 Loan Turned Into a Billion Dollar Business

Janice Bryant Howroyd's entrepreneurial journey had very humble beginnings. She's the founder and CEO of ActOne Group, a multibillion dollar global business providing workforce solutions.

On this week's episode of Behind Her Empire, hear how Howroyd, as a temporary secretary for her brother-in-law's company, saw an opportunity in the market where other executives were looking for quick and effective clerical help. She decided to branch off on her own and start an employment agency with only $1,500 in her pocket, $900 of which she borrowed from her mother. Forty years later, the company earns over $1 billion in net sales and is in 19 countries with over 17,000 clients.

Howroyd has been recognized on Forbes' list of America's Richest Self-Made Women and is known to be the first Black woman to own and operate a billion-dollar company. She is incredibly talented, passionate and a fierce business mentor who shares a wealth of knowledge around what it means to be authentic and successful on your entrepreneurial journey.

Want more? Subscribe to Behind Her Empire on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

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On this week's episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, hear from Chang Xu, partner at Basis Set Ventures, a $140 million fund focused on AI and automation - technology that transforms the way people work.

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Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.

Despite — or in many cases because of — the raging pandemic, 2020 was a great year for many tech startups. It turned out to be an ideal time to be in the video game business, developing a streaming ecommerce platform for Gen Z, or helping restaurants with their online ordering.

But which companies in Southern California had the best year? That is highly subjective of course. But in an attempt to highlight who's hot, we asked dozens of the region's top VCs to weigh in.

We wanted to know what companies they wish they would have invested in if they could go back and do it all over again.

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Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.