Whatever wild dream causes your heart to stir can come forth because of your own creativity and vision. It is magical because it is yours.
— her big idea
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In 2017, only 2% of venture capital spending went to female-founded companies.

That doesn't quite cut it.

For her honors thesis at Brown, Haley Hoffman Smith set out to research why this was, and to challenge the barriers to BIG thinking in women's pursuits of entrepreneurship. She wrote this book alongside the thesis so the insights, lessons, and inspiration could be shared and spread widely, with beloved innovation stories and tips for creativity.

Her Big Idea explores the themes of creative ideation and the common pitfalls of entrepreneurship. Highlighting the successes of the greatest female entrepreneurs of the 21st Century, Hoffman Smith underscores their big ideas and reminds readers of the overarching message that any woman, regardless of her age or level of experience, can bring her idea to life and make it bigger than she ever dreamed possible. Featuring stories from Headbands of Hope's Jessica Ekstrom and Diversability's Tiffany Yu, stories of favorite female-led companies such as Rent the Runway and Hint Water, Her Big Idea ushers in a new frontier of entrepreneurship. Combining extensive research with innovation strategy and expertise from Brown University professors and mentors, Hoffman's Smith book joins the too-short list of guide books for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Haley is a natural entrepreneurial community builder, with a thoughtful perspective that paints a poignant picture of the state of entrepreneurship and venture capital today - and how we can change the narrative...it will leave you feeling motivated, inspired, and capable of changing the narrative for women-led companies.”

-Allie Felix, Director of Programming and Partnerships, Tampa Innovation Hub


“Haley's book offers aspiring entrepreneurs the skills and knowledge to lead their lives and ventures with passion, purpose and most of all, with confidence. Every step of the way, Haley offers insights that are powerful and derived from rich real-life experiences and research findings. Her voice and passion speak to issues that all entrepreneurs will face. And in doing so, her writing will undoubtedly become a catalyst for shattering the glass ceiling of entrepreneurial self-doubt!

-Banu Ozkazanc-Pan, Associate Professor of Management, University of Massachusetts Boston; Faculty, The Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Brown University


"Her Big Idea offers gripping stories of female founders and tangible tips for creative ideation, all with a meaningful push from the author to believe in our ideas and, even more importantly, believe we can bring them to life." - Erin Halper, Founder of the Upside


“Haley's book perfectly encapsulates both the real hurdles that female entrepreneurs... Her collection of interviews and learned lessons are a must read for those itching to take the road less traveled.” - Alice Kittrell, Founder of Outgift


“It's one thing to have an idea, it's another thing to put that idea into action. Haley Hoffman Smith's Her Big Idea revels in the power of ideas and how to bring them to fruition; an empowering read for trailblazing women everywhere and tomorrow's future leaders.”

-Tiffany Yu, CEO & Founder of Diversability


“Haley Hoffman Smith perfectly balances admittedly grim research about women in venture capital wit workable strategies to transform the entrepreneurial world for women, making Her Big Idea one of the most encouraging reads for our generation.” 

-Rima Reddy, Director of XRC Labs