Serena Williams Wants to ‘Take Burgeoning Entrepreneurs to the Next Level’

For the past five years, in addition to making tennis history, getting married and becoming a mom, Serena Williams has been investing in entrepreneurs.  

Williams announced on Instagram that in 2014 she launched Serena Ventures.  

“Yes, I know I can keep a secret,” Williams said.   

Her venture has “the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries.”  

“Serena Ventures focuses on early-stage companies, and giving them the opportunity to be heard,” Williams states on her website. “As we grow, we hope to mentor young founders and take burgeoning entrepreneurs to the next level.”  

Williams’ firm currently focuses on early-stage investments in companies led by women and people of color. Her team only consists of Vice President Alison J. Rapaport, CFA, who oversees portfolio management and sources new investments. Serena Ventures’ investments encompass several industries, including health and wellness, fashion and e-commerce. 

Related Story: Madam C.J. Walker’s Mansion to Become a Think Tank for Women of Color Entrepreneurs  

In December, similar to Williams’ desire to support entrepreneurs, the New Voices Foundation purchased the former estate of Madam C.J. Walker who is known as the nation’s first self-made female millionaire and beauty pioneer. The estate, called Villa Lewaro, will serve as the site of a learning institute for women of color who want to start their own business.  

The Dennis Family, including entrepreneur Richelieu Dennis, who also founded the New Voices Foundation, facilitated the acquisition of Walker’s home and will spearhead its revitalization.  

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