23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has invested more than $1 million in a British sports venture OpenSponsorship. OpenSponsorship, founded by Ishveen Jolly, is a site that helps athletes find sponsors. "I thought why is there not an efficient Airbnb-style company that helps sponsorship?" Jolly told The Mail on Sunday.
"We have a lot of athletes who are Olympians, but they want to be influencers as well. "We had a company retreat recently in Miami and Serena spoke to the whole team. "A big thing for her was championing the athletes who previously haven't had access to sponsorship.
"We're seeing a huge increase in coverage of women's sport, but sponsorship has lagged behind that."
Williams aims to do big things through Serena Ventures
Williams, a former world No. 1, got into venture business nine years ago.
“The only way that people can get funding is if people like me, women and people of color, are actually writing the checks,” Williams exclusively told Insider. “Otherwise it's going to be the same boys’ club, except not for a lot of Black people”.
Williams became an all-time great on the tennis court and now she is trying to establish herself in the business world. Williams, a former world No. 1, says she has developed a thick skin over the years but still she loves proving the doubters wrong.
“Whether it's venture people saying that I shouldn't be doing it, or it's tennis when people said I'll never be good at it, I do think there's a part of me that always will enjoy proving people wrong,” Williams said.
“And sometimes you just need something to feed the fire, right? “I'm like, ‘Oh that's what I needed to hear. You're going to regret what you just said.’ But that's me, and growing up behind Venus, I had to have that personality”.