Kathy Korman Frey

Posts Tagged ‘US Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship’

USASBE 2009 Hot Mommas Project Entry Submission

In Uncategorized on December 3, 2008 at 10:10 pm


Sneak Preview of

The Worlds Largest Online Women’s Case Study Library


Kathy Korman Frey

The Hot Mommas® Project

The George Washington University School of Business

& GWSB Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence

Department of Management

Funger Hall 315

2201 G Street NW

Washington, DC  20052

(202) 994-7375




In 2008, construction began on what will become the largest free online case study library. Starting with women case protagonists, the library focuses on a new breed of cases which include: 1. A discussion of professional AND personal skills such as work-life balance and 2. A social media interface allowing the self-authored cases to become “live” and interactive for the reader. During this workshop, USASBE attendees will be offered an exclusive preview of the free library. The session will be interactive and include copies of popular cases, teaching guides, and assignment templates.


Synopsis of central thesis

During this workshop, USASBE attendees will be offered an exclusive preview of this free online library which will be available to educators around the globe.  The session will be interactive, and show educators how to use the tool in an educational environment. Each attendee will leave with copies of popular cases and a resource list of other free tools.


Using an online case wizard, women log onto www.HotMommasProject.org and write their own case study.  The resulting “crowd sourced” library will be searchable and sortable by major teaching modules, categories, and tags. A column at the right of each case page features links, as well as the author’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. This social media approach places the case library in new niche: A hybrid case study/blog which we call a “CLOG.”


Sneak preview findings/results from the case library will be shared at the conference to include:

1. Teaching methodology – How to teach a CLOG case study/blog hybrid.

2. Sample cases – Popular sample case will be shared.

3. Assignments – How the case wizard can be used by instructors as a class assignment.

Implications for theory and/or practice + How the findings can be implemented

This is a new breed of case study to encourage educational experimentation on two levels:

1. The focus on key professional AND personal teaching objectives including work-life balance.

2. The CLOG (hybrid case study/blog) format allows cases to become live for students who will click on hyperlinks and view a case protagonist’s Twitter and other social media streams.

A challenge presented to instructors will be students finding “answers” to the cases on the web. How to accommodate this challenge will be discussed in the workshop.  

So what?

In the wake of sometimes negative media coverage, juxtaposed with increasing business opportunities for women, it is critical to distribute examples of role models who are “opting in,” and doing it successfully. Furthermore, bringing social media tools into the classroom can enhance the learning experience of students.

III. What, where, why, of the Hot Mommas® Project and the Case Study Library

Note – this document has live links which will be underlined or shaded in a written document. For the electronic version of this document email support@HotMommasProject.org.

Hot Mommas Project Mission: To increase self-efficacy in women and girls by providing scalable, global, free access to role models online.

Long Term Vision: To create the world’s largest free and online case study library combining the worlds of social media, curriculum and role models in a real-time, interactive learning community.


The Hot Mommas® Project produces curricula for dynamic female leaders. Our award-winning case studies serve as role models on paper for women and girls around the globe by showcasing not only successful business practices, but also successful personal practices including the identification of leadership abilities and work-life balance strategies. On October 13, 2008, The Hot Mommas Project launched a Case Study Competition. Nominated women logged into www.HotMommasProject.org and followed our case wizard. (Nominations of self or others are made by emailing support@HotMommasProject.org).  At www.HotMommasProject.org, the “case wizard” guides writers through the process of authoring a 500 to 1500 words mini-case, discussion questions, teaching notes, links, and questions to help support our research.

Winners will be published in a leading Prentice Hall textbook and receive thousands of dollars in prizes from sponsors ranging from SEPHORA gift cards to Beijou bags.


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


The contest runs from October 13, 2008 through January 31, 2009. Judging will take place in February. Winners will be announced March 10, 2009 in concert with International Women’s Day.

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.

Commentary on the Hot Mommas Project Case Library

“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

IV. What does a case look like?  What is the case author experience?

Sample case

Below please find the introduction to case submitted at www.HotMommasProject.org.

Ashley Albert & The Jimmies / Pluckypea Incorporated
From Dream Job to Dream Job in 1,000 Easy Steps

I loom large above a sea of adoring fans, my hands grip the “mic” fiercely, sweat rolls down my face, eyes wince against the searing lights, gleaming faces stare up at me…expectantly.

Just then, a single voice, strong and proud, rises up out of the crowd and shouts over the din…

I have a boo-boo.”

I turn towards the voice – a beach ball bonks me in the head – the guitar jangles out a chord and I recover just in time to jump into a rousing rendition of “Do the Elephant” a song about covering your mouth when you sneeze.

This is just a typical day at work for me: 45 minutes of rocking it out on a Saturday morning, followed by 20 minutes of intense hugging and discussions about band-aids with 6 year olds.
I am a Kindie Rock Star.

Find the rest of this case at www.HotMommasProject.org

Case-writer experience

Below please find some initial reactions on www.Twitter.com by case writers.
“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 www.hotmommasproject.org 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.”

V. The Hot Mommas® Project approach to case writing

The Cases

Hot Mommas Project cases are a unique spin on traditional business cases in order to:

a. Communicate key business/professional skills (e.g., 4 Ps or company valuation).

b. Appeal to business/entrepreneurship students as well as non-business students, namely through personal identification with the case protagonist and their background.

c. Portray role models who are accomplished not only in the professional realm, but also the personal realm, thus provide a holistic leadership picture which can be discussed in part, or in total, by educators as they see fit.

d. Utilize social media tools to make the cases “live” for readers.

The Protagonists

Protagonists must be 18 or older.  The incentive for women to come online and tell their story is two fold:

1. In doing so, they serve as a role model and – as discussed in this paper – role models impact women’s feelings of self-efficacy which is a key ingredient in success.

2. The top three winners will be published in a major national textbook. There will also be prizes of monetary value.

Technology and technique

The interface resembles that of a blog. The library content is created through “crowd sourcing,” a social media term used to describe sourcing content through community member contributions. This leverages the existing knowledge and comfort-level that many have with social networking tools. The case wizard helps to structure the content for a teaching environment.


Sponsorship from corporations, foundations, and individuals are funding the case library endeavor.


Marketing efforts around the library involve media coverage, partnerships with leaders in social media, as well as alliances with top women’s and entrepreneurial organizations. We are featured by many bloggers, and are on Twitter and Facebook.


Judges are from the academic and corporate/nonprofit realms and will virtually review and score approximately 5 cases which have met each the following criteria:

1. Clear delineation of professional challenge in a manner which will promote discussion.

2. Clear delineation of personal/family/outside-of-work challenge in a manner which will promote discussion.

3. Adequate information in case to answer the discussion questions posed.

4. Examples of real situations/conversations/scenarios provided in case.

5. Potential for readers to personally identify with case protagonist.

6. Potential to capture interest of readers of many ages.

7. Clear and organized answers provided in teaching notes.

8. (Optional) popularity of case with online community.

Our panel features major leaders in academia, government, business, the non profit sector, and social media as well as a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom).

A separate young judges panel will feature current students and recent graduates. The top 10 favorite cases of the young judges panel will receive sponsored prizes.

Future steps

  • Ability for readers to comment on cases.
  • Video case studies.
  • Speakers database for schools.
  • “Cool Daddies” survey and case study contest.

Hot Mommas Project as a Resource for Educators

  • www.HotMommasProject.org will include free case studies for educators everywhere. The cases can be searched by major categories.
  • Educators can not only TEACH the cases, but also have students write a case as an assignment. Students would log on, use the case wizard, and swap “academic” for “professional” issue in autobiographical cases.


Bandura, A. (1992). Exercise of personal agency through the self-efficacy mechanism. In R. Schwartzer (Ed.),Self-efficacy: Thought control of action (pp. 3-38). Washington, DC: Hemisphere.

Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Caprara, G., & Pastorelli, C. (2001). Self-efficacy beliefs as shapers of children’s aspirations and career trajectories. Child Development, 72(1), 187-206.

Cox, L., Mueller, S., & Moss, S. (2002). The impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial self-efficacy. International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 1, 2.