“A Stigma to Overcome”: Serena Williams Points Out the Barriers in Doing Business

Published 03/24/2021, 11:09 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 23: Serena Williams of the United States talks to the media at a press conference after losing her quarter final match against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic during day 10 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)


No one would have imagined 20 years ago that in 2021, Serena Williams would not only be one of the greatest tennis players but also a successful entrepreneur and a businesswoman. She now has her own brands and has invested in several other companies as well. From the outside, it looks easy, but it has been a tough road for Serena.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In a recent interview, Serena frankly said that even though she holds huge stature and fame, she faces rejection in the business world.

“It’s really important for people to understand that even I have to face and hear nos and unreasonableness and just things that just doesn’t make sense and opportunities that are still afforded to others no matter what I am I’m still are still not afforded to me.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her fourth-round match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Serena Williams wants to break barriers

Serena also pointed out the common narrative she faces: ‘tennis players should stick to tennis’. The 23-time Grand Slam champ wants to end that narrative. She often sees potential investors who just want to meet her instead of investing.

“So I do have also a stigma to overcome that I’m a tennis player and why would I want to do anything else. It is often like are you educated enough to do what you want to do and so that is another thing that we have to break down.

“Even though we get open doors, it’s more or less sometimes it could be just to see me or to just see what’s in my brain as opposed to actually wanting to invest or to help or to um to you know be a part of the business so it’s a lot.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Serena’s business interests

Nevertheless, Serena is astute with her values and beliefs. Like she wants to win on the court, she will try anything to be successful off the court and thus she has made huge strides forward as a businesswoman. She even has a successful clothing line, ‘S by Serena’ since 2018.

Furthermore, Serena has a knack for investing in unique startups as well. She does this through her firm, ‘Serena Ventures’. The company now has over 30+ startups under its umbrella. It is safe to say this investment tsunami could soon make Serena the first billionaire female sportsperson.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

“Group of 3 GOATs”: Alexis Ohanian Makes a New Wish to Serena Williams

about 2 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Bhavishya Mittal

953 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT