Sun. May 19th, 2024

Daughters Of Zion SBA CNPP Grantee Announces Malaika Shawnee Howard – Better Than Beautiful Academy- As The DOZ CNPP Entrepreneur Of The Week- January 29, 2023 – February 4, 2022

Malaika Shawnee Howard

Business phone # (254) 477-6597


As part of our follow-up to the progress the Daughters of Zion CNPP grantee is making within Memphis, Shelby County, and beyond- we are highlighting the weekly Entrepreneur of the Week Award. We asked why was Malaika Howard chosen as entrepreneur of the week, and Dr. Gerald Kiner, Ph.D. declared, “ Malaika’s vision is unbelievable! Many business owners are having trouble excelling in close to perfect environments; however, Malaika is thriving in the Mississippi Delta which historically has been one of the poorest and most segregated regions in America. If Malaika can do it- we all can do it! This isn’t a feel good story, it’s a – how to succeed in any environment for real story. I am so proud of the fact that even 1 hour and 23 minutes from Memphis, Makaika had the foresight and insight to know that the SBA’s DOZ CNPP would be worth being a part of. Like a true entrepreneur, Malaika misses out on no opportunity to make herself and her business better. Malaika is the real deal and extremely worthy of being recognized as our entrepreneur of the week. 



Malaika Shawnee Howard answered several questions for the Entrepreneur of the Week.


Q: Please tell us your full name and the name of your business.

A: Hello, my name is Malaika Shawnee Howard. I am the proud owner of Better Than Beautiful Academy.


Q: How long have you been in business?

A: I have been in business since 2019. I’ve been established since 2019, but I became fully operational and I started taking clients as of January 20, 2022. So, this makes a year that I’ve been in full service. 


Q: How did you come up with the beautiful name?

A: I came up with it, it was kind of unique. What I did before I started my specific business was I mentored and coached women. I’ve been married for 22 years, but ironically, I would say God sent a lot of single women my way. And I think it was because I went through a lot of things to kind of help guide those that are coming up behind me. 

Because I know a lot of times, American women, particularly Black women, we’re socialized to marry right after college, to obtain a degree, then after that, you go on and get married. But I think marriages would be better and people would be more beneficial to one another if we knew who we were as individuals. So, long story short, I started working with women and mentoring women. And I did a fast with women, a yearlong fast based on the book of Esther in the Bible. And the name came from, in that book of the bible, Queen Vashti, her name meant better. 


Q: Who’s your target audience? What is your goal of your business, your mission? 

A: The mission for my business is to help people pursue purpose, most importantly those in the underserved areas like the Mississippi Delta where I live. I live in Clarksdale, Mississippi, but I get a lot of business from online. And so, my target audience would be those I’ve been servicing between the ages of 30 to about 55, but really anybody. Anybody that is interested in starting a business, or following a passion, or pursuing a more lofty goal than just working a 9 to 5 for someone else. And somebody who wants to make an impact in their community. 


Q: Would you consider yourself as a life coach? 

A: Definitely.


Q: If someone were to want your services, they would be hiring a life coach to help guide them in whatever avenue they want to improve whether it be becoming an entrepreneur, whether it be becoming a better mother, or becoming a better employee even, or whatever they want to improve on, you can provide those services for them. 

A: All of those services, yes, sir. And right now, I definitely specialize in helping people find out what they’re gifted in, their calling, and their talent is. You know, being able to monetize that gift and that talent. And like you said, in the process of finding out what your specialty and what your God-given gift is, then we hit all those other areas as well.


Q: How did you become what you have become with your business? What was your former career in and how did you get into this business? 

A: Well, I was born in Chicago and I was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. So, when I moved down this way in the Delta, I met my husband at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. And the funniest thing is I always looked to kind of get out of the delta, but I realized that it doesn’t matter where you are, you know purpose is purpose. God has purpose in the Mississippi Delta and he has it in Memphis. I ended up teaching, and I’ve always been a writer, but I ended up in the education field. I got in education, what I thought was temporary, and I taught seventh and eighth grade English and Remedial Reading and English. 

I ended up, it was so funny, usually I remember it, when I was in school my teachers had a book. And they just kind of threw me in there, and it was just like, figure out what you’re going to do. And I was devastated because I’ll say it gave me an upper hand, because it helped me create a curriculum. And I ended up teaching that, teaching is a gift and a passion that God has given me. I ended up finding out after I had my third child and had to go on medical leave that I had kidney failure. Long story short, ended up on dialysis, once God brought me through that I ended up getting a double kidney transplant. They gave me both kidneys from a child cadaver, so I’m a miracle. 

And being at home and getting phone calls, and just when I lost my career unexpectedly, thinking I was going on a trajectory, because when I left I was Teacher of the Year. And then, ended up being at home for 10 years, and then kind of God like laying me on my back. And it helped me, not even so much seek this career, but the more people started calling for advice, and I just thought I was passing time, but I realized that when bad things happen to us it’s to strengthen us and give us the wisdom and the grace, not only to be better, but to help others. 

And so, that’s kind of how you could say I stumbled upon it. I went through some things, but I came out utilizing not only the skill that I love, which was writing. I’m starting to do grants. And I help start nonprofits, for-profits. And you know, just like I said, help people find what their career trajectory is. 


Q: How did you find out about the Daughters of Zion CNPP Navigator Program? 

A: I had a home health nurse and she came over, and she’s a lovely lady, Ms. Janette Franklin. She was telling me about, “I got a program and I want you to check it out.” And I said, “Okay.” And next thing you know, I was hooked. I was so sad, I was on a cruise for my birthday on December 3rd, so that’s how I missed the DOZ CNPP Christmas Luncheon, but I try to keep up as much as possible. If nothing is going on and if I’m feeling well I try…I love what you all are offering, what you do. You are a staple of encouragement for entrepreneurs, and just people that want to serve those around them. So, I love what you guys do and I hope that my business can be a beacon of light and hope like you all are to entrepreneurs, definitely to me.


Q: What would you say to other entrepreneurs who may be interested in becoming a part of, what you’re a part of, the Daughters of Zion? 

A: If you want to stay motivated, if you want to stay focused, and have the resources that you all provide. You know, I love how Ms. Natalie, she’s always building you up whether you found a grant or not. I love how she is intentional about keeping up with each one of you all’s partners. And Dr. Kiner, how you have so much knowledge and wisdom, I would tell anybody log on on Saturdays, watch the YouTube videos you send us. I mean, it’s enough information that you wouldn’t even have to go to a business school, I or anyone can get what we need here.

And I love the networking piece Daughters of Zion provides. I think, you know, a lot of us, I know with me, when we come on Saturdays it’s a nice place to network, and I’m looking forward to it. I know it was a lady trying to reach out to me. I’m looking forward to establishing some more things so I can do some more networking, because the networking that I’ve done so far has really been a blessing I think to me and even those that I’ve connected with, so definitely. This is an awesome ministry to follow. 


Q: Give us more specifically how Daughters of Zion has helped you?

A: DOZ has really helped me to look introspectively at what I do and why I do it. I know the Top 10 Billionaire Points Dr. Kiner gives us, I always tend to copy and paste them, write them down. And then go on my computer, copy and paste them, go back and read them, because Dr. Kiner and you as well, Ms. Natalie, y’all, really know what they say, “drop nuggets of wisdom,” just things that make me look introspectively to see how I can better serve others. And most importantly, you know, use wisdom myself. I would say, of course I know everybody say, “Well, put God first,” but I don’t even want to be that vague, but I think that, well, the Bible says, ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.’ 


Q: Why should someone come and use Better Than Beautiful? What makes you stand out? 

A: Well, what makes me stand out, I told my last client, I’m working on a nonprofit right now, a community nonprofit for young people. And she has a piece of her business just to kind of share. She wants to do temporary housing, just say if youth are displaced either through the foster care. And she was talking to me, and when we go through I said, “Well, let me pray with you.” I said, “that’s something I know a lot of business owners don’t offer.” So, it’s not just prayer, but the fact that I have a connection to the one that created the business owner. So, I might not know what to do, but I know the one who knows what your specific business needs are. And, again, prayer is one of the most powerful things we can do. 

And I think the fact that I am very passionate about seeing other people walk in their purpose. It gives me great joy. So, it’s a work of purpose and passion for me. And I just love to see other people realize what’s their purpose. It gives me great joy, so I think that’s what makes me unique and stand out. It’s not about another dollar for me, but it’s about me fulfilling my purpose when I help you find yours. So, that’s what makes me unique.


Q: What is your elevator pitch for Better Than Beautiful Academy?

A: Better Than Beautiful Academy, we are one of the premier business services. We offer…there are two parts to what we do. We help you to form nonprofits, for-profits, S corporations, C corporations, any type of, be it partnerships, any type of business you want to start. We also specialize in documentation. I’m not a lawyer, but I work with several lawyers and legal entities, where I can help you do estate planning, wills, living trust, Power of Attorney. And really I specialize in anything written, whether it’s a grant, a grant product, or I do curriculum writing. I do, I even help people…I’m a ghostwriter, I help edit and do memoires if you want to write a book. 

If you want to create anything lasting in black and white, I’m your girl. So, I would love to impact my area and help all those entrepreneurs and even those that want to leave a lasting legacy in words, I’m here to help. And, my services, I try to make my service affordable and catered to whatever it is you that you can do. 


Q: Any thing else you want to let the world know about you? 

A. I’m here to help. I love meeting new people. I love hearing people’s stories. And so, if you have a dream and you don’t even know where to start, but you know what you want the end result to be, come see me and we’ll put your dream into something workable, something doable. 


To sign up for free DOZ CNPP business coaching and training use the link below:

Or call 901-260-9933






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