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Serena Williams Is a Powerhouse, On and Off the Court

The tennis legend is also dominating the business world.
serena final

Serena Williams has more than made a name for herself on the court. But the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion is becoming just as recognizable for the multiple hats she now wears off of it: venture investor, fashion designer, philanthropist and mother.

The 40-year-old athlete, entrepreneur and investor never does anything half-heartedly. In addition to running her Serena Ventures investment firm and S By Serena direct-to-consumer clothing line, she also oversees an ethically sourced jewelry line, the non-profit community hall, Price Resource Center, and a design mentorship program. She additionally has numerous endorsement deals with over a dozen brands, and has been a three-time SI Swimsuit veteran.

After starting to play tennis in Compton, Calif., at age 4, the hard-working Williams turned pro just 10 years later. By 1999, Williams won her first major singles title at the US Open. Since then, she's won 23 in all, including the 2017 Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant.

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The record-breaking player is still hitting the courts even after suffering several injuries and the complicated birth of her daughter Olympia in 2017. But, at the same time, Williams has applied that determination off the court. She has over 65 investments in startups through Serena Ventures, has a first-look TV deal with Amazon Studios, and recently partnered with Zales to exclusively sell her Serena Williams Jewelry line. That's on top of endorsements, which include her like $40-million deal with Nike.

And did we mention she's a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins with sister Venus? They are the first Black women to hold any amount of ownership in an NFL franchise.

Beyond the business world, Serena also uses her notoriety to speak out about causes close to her heart. Williams has publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement and penned an open letter in Porter Magazine's "Incredible Women of 2016" issue, speaking out about gender equality and her struggles as a woman in tennis. Her activism didn't go unnoticed. Williams has received several awards for her efforts, was part of the "Most Remarkable and Beautiful Black Women" list by Essence magazine and honored by the NAACP with its President's Award.

No matter what Williams puts her mind to, it's always a Grand Slam.

Beginning on International Women’s Day (March 8), the Pay With Change initiative will be front and center on SI Swim channels through daily spotlights on the women, brands and properties making a concerted effort to fight for women’s equality.