We had the good fortune of connecting with Isis Gill-Reid and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Isis, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The main reason, I started SG & BGF to give back to my community and a sport that served as a vehicle for my life. In addition, financial literacy and tennis tend to be neglected in communities of color due to the lack of capital and miseducation. Ergo, I love giving back, growing organizations, and seeing all of my players develop on and off the court.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
1. SG Next Level Tennis (2017) & BLK GIRL in Finance was founded in 2021. SG is a virtual and in-person tennis academy using tennis as a vehicle to educate, empower, build character through kids; and attain college scholarships from underserved communities.
BLK GIRL In Finance was created to help people of color get financially fit. This includes providing basic financial literacy tips, coaching, seminars, and teaching people different ways to multiply their money, due to the neglect of financial literacy in communities of color.
2. What sets SG apart from other non-profits and tennis academies, is that I provide mentorship and analysis to parents and kids year-round. I also provide affordable tennis consulting for kids of color, because tennis gave me so much. All SG Clients receive a complimentary seminar from BGF to introduce their kids to financial literacy, helping them become financially literate before getting to college.
What sets BGF apart from other basic financial coaches, is that I provide seminars to mainly athletes, and elementary students in NYC.
I’m most proud of the growth of SG Next Level over the past year. We’ve increased clientele by 200% and have helped 2 girls of color attain a college scholarship through their education.
I’m excited for the growth of BGF and SG in the next 3 years because both companies are forces to be reckoned with. I’m excited to help talented juniors take their tennis to the next level, and navigate the recruiting process; while educating them on financial literacy.
3. I’ve been able to grow and develop my businesses, mainly because of my mentors and parents consistently pushing me to keep going.
4. No, growing a business isn’t easy, one must just be persistent in their craft and passion. I think starting BGF from the ground in February, was one of the things that got me out of my comfort zone the most. I’ve done field marketing, and lots of outreach to schools to get the word out about my program.
5. Some lessons I’ve learned in the past year is that~ consistency and intentionality will push your business further than you could’ve ever imagined. Secondly, don’t fret when someone says no~ just get up and believe in your abilities. Lastly, being your authentic self saves so much time and energy; people appreciate your authenticity.
6. I want the world to know that BGF and SG Next Level Tennis will provide financial literacy, and tennis to thousands of families, who may not have access to tennis, and have no clue how to manage their finances. BGF’s Guide to Financial Literacy releases on May 15th via GumRoad. Looking forward to working with you all.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend came to Brooklyn, NY for the weekend, I would take them to:
Dumbo, Soho, and the Vessel for tourist purposes.
Chávelas, Los Tacos, and Ciprani for food.
Prospect Park/Central Park for a run.
Brooklyn Museum, and the MOMA, and Soho House.
NY is very diverse, and there’s so much to see.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes, I’d like to thank my family, mentors and friends for being such an inspiration, and continuously pushing me forward to my goals. In addition my friend Brandon Moorer, for mentoring me during COVID to pursue my business full time. Lastly, “Breaking the System”, by Jordan Williams, and “Resisting Happiness”, by Matthew Kelly.
Instagram: @iceeed_t @sgnextleveltennis @blkgirlinfinance
Twitter: @iceeed_t @blkgirlinfinance