“I want to be the brand, instead of being the face.” Serena Williams
The 23 Grand Slam titleholder Serena Williams has long claimed her spot as tennis royalty. From her intense sportsmanship to her daring fits on the court, Williams is always pushing the envelope. Now she continues to make history by gracing Forbes’ June cover as the first athlete on its Richest Self-Made Women list.
Williams’ fortune is an estimated $225 million, according to Forbes. The athlete turned business woman, is special because her money is not only working for her, it’s working for the people.
Her namesake company, Serena Ventures “invests in founders who are changing the world with their ideas and products,” according to the website. For the past five years she has invested in 34 young start-ups. About 60 percent are founded by women and people of color, according to Forbes. Williams is a fierce advocate and her business endeavors are a beautiful extension of that.
Forbes describes self-made as “anyone who did not inherit his or her fortune.” Williams started playing tennis in her teens and has solidified her spot in history as one of —if not thee— best tennis player in the world. However, her fortune is a true result of her efforts to build others up and strengthen the entrepreneurial landscape in as many ways as she can. “I want to be the brand, instead of being the face,” Williams says in herForbes feature.
Her aspirations are endless and it shows in the launch of her clothing line S by Serena, which she funded herself. After waiting for an opportunity to invest in a designer or clothing line, she told Forbes’ “I had to invest in myself.”
The 37-year-old is still young in her venture investing career, but her current portfolio is worth a nice $10 million and there’s no sign of her stopping there.