The Hot Mommas Project Brief

Hot Mommas Project Mission: To increase self-efficacy in women and girls by providing scalable, global, free access to role models online. We showcase new definitions of success that are happening RIGHT NOW all across the globe.

Long Term Vision: To produce the “Hot Mommas Project” toolkit showcasing specific components of the new definition of success. To support this vision, we have created the world’s largest free and online case study library combining the worlds of social media, curriculum and real-life role models.


What: The Hot Mommas® Project.  Don’t be fooled by the name. That is to reach through the noise of today’s social media and grab the attention of students. We mean business, and we have the results, supporters, and accolades to prove it. The Hot Mommas Project is an award-winning women’s leadership program housed at the George Washington University School of Business. The research initiative started in 2002 to fill a gap in the education system: Scalable access to role models, particularly female ones. Thus, our mission is to increase self-efficacy of women and girls across the globe through exposure to role models. To accomplish our mission, we are building the world’s largest women’s case study library to produce not just vignettes, but credible academic tools that can be utilized in a classroom environment.

This is how it works: Women come online to, tell their story using our case study wizard, and serve as online/on paper role models by writing their case. From the time the writer clicks “publish,” the case will become part of a library available online for free. Our project takes the case studies a step further by allowing readers to interact with the role model/case protagonist via social media avenues such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. While The Hot Mommas Project has been in existence since 2002, the case competition launched in October and the response has been phenomenal. In the future, we would like to produce case studies (e.g. video) featuring multi-ethnic, multi-generational case protagonists. Our cases are featured in one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurship textbooks, have won a 2006 Coleman Foundation National Case Award, and increase retention of key classroom concepts by 33% in test groups.  See our recent press release and buzz page for more.

Winners will be published in a leading Prentice Hall textbook and receive thousands of dollars in prizes from sponsors.

Where: We are housed at the George Washington University School of Business and included in the mission of GWSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

When: We take nominations for the contest all year at Cases are due each year on January 31. Judging will take place in February. Winners will be announced April in concert with GW’s Women and Philanthropy Forum.

Why: The case for cases. The Hot Mommas® Project cases are designed to encourage success by incorporating the following important factors in our curricula in addition to key business lessons.

1. Role models are tied to success.

Our cases provide role models on paper and online, for free. Studies show women are less likely to network and promote themselves than their male counterparts and that girls and women are more likely to limit their career aspirations due to lack of confidence in their abilities (Bandura, 1992, Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Caprara, G., & Pastorelli, C., 2001). Access to role models in the form of case studies is a known successful intervention or solution to this issue (Cox, Mueller, & Moss, 2002). The Hot Mommas® Project provides curricula focused on role modeling and personal leadership – as well as key business and professional skills – housed within a credible, proven, award-winning case study framework.

2. Work-life balance is a growing concern.

Our cases include real models of work-life balance issues and actionable solutions. Work-life balance is a top 3 future concern in virtually every region of the world according to a study conducted by BCG, WFPMA, and SHRM. In the US alone, the number of dual income households doubled between 1980 and 2005. Two-thirds of all US households with children 18 or younger are dual income. The problems associated with work-life balance are well defined, however the solutions are not. In exploring our case library, readers can begin to play a role in their own work-life balance solutions.  

3. It works.

Our case approach increases retention of key concepts by 33% for an undergrad or MBA student based on preliminary pilot testing. Our case approach is derived from research, and helps business and non-business students learn through a personal identification with the case protagonist. Our cases have been published in a leading Prentice Hall textbook, and used as part of programs by the International Finance Corporation, Visa Practical Money Skills, and the GWU Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program (the recipient of a 2007 USASBE Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award leading to a Fortune Small Business Ranking of GWU’s entrepreneurship program). The Hot Mommas® Project is also the recipient of a 2006 Coleman Foundation Case Award.

More on case studies

What is a case study? A case study is an educational tool made famous by Harvard Business School. Cases can range in length from 2 to 30 pages and relay a story about a business or person. Each case has one or more teaching objectives. Overall, case studies serve as a bridge between theory and reality and move the reader as close as possible to a real-life experience.  The Hot Mommas Project cases are a hybrid between a case study and a blog, and focused on the personal perspectives, lessons, and challenges of our diverse base of case protagonists.


“There is great demand both domestically and abroad for practical solutions and models on achieving ‘balance.’ At leadership conferences I have participated in ranging from Harvard Business School to the Middle East, women want to succeed in both their professional and personal/family lives. The case study database resulting from the Hot Mommas Project Case Study competition is a major step in the right direction. Having free and global access to the database will be a great resource of examples on how to balance.”

Karen Kerrigan

President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Founder, Women Entrepreneurs Inc. (WE Inc.)

“Exposure to role models can contribute to one’s sense of self-efficacy, or the feeling of ‘If she can do that, maybe I can too.’ The Hot Mommas Project approach of providing role models on paper hits the nail on the head by showing real women successfully managing the daily complexities of personal and professional demands. The online, self-directed learning model offers an innovative “just in time” development alternative for busy women.”

Dr. Susan G. Duffy

Assistant Professor Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Simmons College School of Management

Here is what case-writers are saying:

“I really enjoyed the process of writing my case. It made me reflect.”

“It was fun, the case wizard was clear, and the tutorial and sample cases helped a lot.”

“The case study project on is great. Just finished mine. Was therapeutic. Women, check it out.”

“Writing my case made me feel like I mattered and that I have something to offer.”

To get started (see these links and read below):

Nominate someone & see sample nomination notice.

Read: Why you should get involved.

Read: How to get started on a case.

Browse cases in our case library.

Recent press, other buzz

Find case writer links on the column of this page:

Hot Mommas Project in the Press:

Last year’s winners.

Last year’s judges.

Twitter stream:

Facebook Group:

LinkedIn group:


See our FAQs or email us

Men are welcome to participate in our pilot. Check “Cool Daddies” on your profile page.


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