After pressure from Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix, Nike recently announced a change to its maternity policy that will provide financial protections for pregnant athletes and new mothers sponsored by the company. The announcement comes just a month after Felix ended her seven-year relationship with Nike to sign with Athleta — the first athlete to be sponsored by the women's athletic wear company…Read More
Retired international athlete Phaidra Knight achieved much success as a professional rugby player throughout her 20-year career. Now, the 2017 World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee is leveraging the sport as a vehicle for social transformation for youth…Read More
On June 22, NBA veteran DeMarre Carroll and the Carroll Family Foundation (CFF) held their second annual All-Girls Basketball Clinic at Basketball City in Manhattan for girls ranging in age from 7-18. During the clinic, Carroll — previously a forward with the Brooklyn Nets until signing this week with the San Antonio Spurs — led the girls in defensive drills and motivated them to continue working hard toward their goals…Read More
Tennis legend Serena Williams has been quietly building her investment portfolio the past five years since launching her Serena Ventures fund in 2014. It wasn’t until this past April, however, that Williams publicly announced the formation of the venture capital firm. Sharing the news on Instagram, Williams stated:
“In 2014, (yes I know I can keep a secret) I launched Serena Ventures with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries. Serena Ventures invests in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity…”
Focused on women- and minority-owned businesses, the fund primarily invests in early stage, mission-driven companies led by diverse, emerging women entrepreneurs of color. Since 2014, the firm has invested in more than 30 companies, including businesses that serve e-commerce, food and beverage, fashion, health and wellness, social good and more.
Williams is interested in investing more than just money in these companies though. She is also passionate about providing founders with mentorship and other leadership support to help them grow their enterprises. Recently appointing Alison Rapaport as Serena Ventures vice president to oversee the fund's portfolio and new investments, Williams is now poised to take the firm to even greater heights.
"As we grow, we hope to mentor young founders and take burgeoning entrepreneurs to the next level," Williams states on her website. "Serena Ventures extends relationship, encourages collaboration among portfolio companies, and expands partnership opportunities across my vast network. Similar to many of the companies we have invested in, we are just getting started and are hoping to make a difference."
An advocate for women in the investment space, Williams announced her investment in another fund this past March. Becoming an investor in the Bumble Fund, a fund operated by the dating app Bumble that invests in startups led by women of color and other underrepresented groups, Williams continues to bet on women. She also serves on the boards of tech companies like Poshmark and SurveyMonkey.
Considered by many the greatest tennis player of all time, with a record 23 Grand Slam titles in singles, Williams’ powerful legacy is still growing. Her work to give women a financial voice is creating systemic change that will not only benefit her young daughter, but also the many generations to come.
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Scott Pioli, assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NFL Executive of the Year Award winner, recently announced the creation of an endowment fund in collaboration with the Women's Sports Foundation, where he is a new member of the organization’s Board of Trustees…Read More
For some, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. For others, they serve as painful reminders of lost loved ones and overwhelming financial burdens, particularly for parents with young children. For many families, helping children experience the magic of the season would be impossible without the generosity and compassion of those willing and able to share their resources…Read More
WNBA legend Sue Bird made headlines recently when she joined the NBA’s Denver Nuggets in a major front office role as basketball operations associate. While she is still starting point guard for the Seattle Storm, she’s now become a trailblazer for women in men’s sports too…Read More
In their constant mission to grow the game of women’s hockey across North America and the world, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and Calgary Inferno recently kicked off a season-long partnership with the Grindstone Award Foundation, a charity that supports young girls across Canada who want to play hockey but may be facing financial obstacles that prevent them from entering the sport. On November 3, the Inferno was the first of several teams in the CWHL to host a charity hockey clinic to help raise funds for the foundation.Read More