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Serena Williams: Business Women

WITI News Staff

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By Sophia Schneidman

Serena Williams played in the finals at Wimbledon on Saturday, June 14, against Simona Halep in her 32nd Grand Slam Final. Had Williams prevailed on that day, she would have had 23 Grand Slam titles under her belt. There is no denying that when her tennis career is at stake, Williams means business.

However, some individuals credit Williams' win against Alison Riske to her chosen hairstyle. In the first two sets, Williams sported her signature ponytail. However, after losing the second set, Williams pulled her hair into a tight bun to win the match.

In her post-game interview, Williams explained her change in hairstyle by saying, "Well, today my hair was just in my way, and the wind. I was missing a shot because it's in my face. I was like, 'This is not happening.' I just needed to get it out of the way, put the business bun up and just get to business."

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After her interview, countless individuals on Twitter began commenting on her "business bun," including her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian. He wrote, " #MamaStrength. What an amazing match between two women who went all out today. But the #BusinessBun means business."

Although Williams is most known for her strength and resilience on the court, in recent years, she has become quite the businesswoman off the court as well. Williams has become the first-ever female athlete to be included in the Forbes annual list of the World's Richest Self-Made Women. Williams has reached a fortune of $225 million in the past year, having made $29 million just in endorsements in the past year. However, the majority of her wealth is coming from her outside investments.

According to Forbes Magazine Over the past five years, Williams has invested in a total of 34 different startups. This past April, Williams opened her own venture capital company, Serena Ventures. In an interview with Forbes, Williams explained the idea behind Serena Ventures. "I want to be a part of it. I want to be in the infrastructure. I want to be the brand, instead of just being the face," she said.

Williams wishes to make a real impact on individuals' lives. According to Forbes, Serena Ventures is unique in that Williams chooses to invest in companies founded by women and minorities. Today, only 2.3% of venture capital investments in the U.S went to startups founded by women. However, 60% of Williams investments have gone to either women or people of color. Williams is acutely aware that she can use her fame and influence positively. According to Georgina Gooley, the cofounder of Billie, which is one of Serena Ventures' investments, "Using her platform to talk about our mission was the biggest support we've had besides her capital." Billie makes razors for women with a mission, to eliminate the "pink tax," so women can shave for an affordable price.

Today, Billie is up fivefold for the year, in addition to four of Williams' other investments, including Daily Harvest and The Wing. The business bun means business, and I am so excited to see how Williams continues to perform on and off the court this coming year.

Work Cited:

Badenhausen, Kurt. "Inside Serena Williams' Plan To Ace Venture Investing." Forbes, Forbes
Magazine, 30 June 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2019/06/03/inside-serena-williams-plan-to-ace-venture-investing/#26d8187d7787.

Gardner, Abby. "Some Fans Think Serena Williams's 'Business Bun' Helped Her Win at
Wimbledon." Glamour, Glamour, 10 July 2019, www.glamour.com/story/serena-williams-business-bun-wimbledon.

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