When an employee acts as an entrepreneur while working in a company, the whole process is understood as Intrapreneurship.
Many get confused between entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship, we will discuss this later, but first, let us start with:
How has the booming prevalence of entrepreneurship around the world coined this new term- Intrapreneurship?
Introduction to Intrapreneurship
In recent years, globalization and industrialization are at their peaks.
Every day, new business ventures are coming up. Employability has increased. More unique and more innovative ideas have entered the market. With the right amount of knowledge, funds, and experience, people are starting their firms and businesses.
All this has paved the way for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching, and managing your own business. Mostly, such ventures start at a lower level. Depending on the profit incurred, the company expands. Entrepreneurship is a concept with which we are all familiar.
However, with the development of this exciting phenomenon, a profitable alternative has also gained momentum.
Intrapreneurship is a new and upcoming concept that allows a person to work as an entrepreneur in a company or a firm. Usually, we associate companies with employees. Employees are one of the most critical elements that help in the expansion of the company.
Intrapreneurship, however, is the bridge joining two very different elements- Entrepreneurs & Employees
This concept was recently added to the business terminology. This article aims to shed light on this intriguing concept.
What is Intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship, as the name suggests, is the amalgamation of two words- intra and entrepreneur.
Intra indicates that this person works within the company.
In simple words, an intrapreneur is a person who works within a company but has taken the responsibility of a project individually. Hence, the handling, management, and successful completion of the entire project lie in the hands of this entity.
An intrapreneur requires the management skills of an employee as well as the risk-taking and analytical mindset of an entrepreneur. Unlike popular opinion, there is a significant difference between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur.
Unlike an entrepreneur, an intrapreneur does not take risks alone. He still works in a firm, and all the decisions are taken after the company’s affirmation. But at certain stages, he is expected to make certain important decisions.
Over the years, entrepreneurship has gained significant momentum in the business world.
More and more people preferred to start their businesses. People preferred working independently rather than working in a company or firm. Invariably this led to a drought of employment in the field of management.
The drought of employment was the key factor behind the creation of intrapreneurship. The manager was made the head of the department. He was asked to run the show. The authorities of an entrepreneur were given to the manager while still being employed in a firm. This safeguarded the interests of people as well as various companies. Hence, intrapreneurship is considered to be a bridge, reducing this considerable gap.
Key Intrapreneurship points to Note
- Intrapreneurship is a newly created system that allows an employee to function as an entrepreneur within an organization. These employees are given the authority to take up essential projects.
- Intrapreneurs are generally confident, proactive, and dynamic people. They possess essential leadership skills and can think outside-the-box.
- Intrapreneurship is the precursor of entrepreneurship. This concept allows people to use the gained knowledge while developing their own business or company.
Features of Intrapreneurship
Intrapreneurship is a growing phenomenon in the business world.
- As mentioned above, it established a middle ground between companies and entrepreneurs. There are various features of intrapreneurship that make it unique and vital. Let us look at some of these features.
- Intrapreneurship helps to challenge, experiment, and exploit the creative faculties of an employee. This phenomenon helps to bring out the innovative mind of a person. These creative ideas, when successfully implemented, can bring about huge profits to the firm.
- It also provides an opportunity for an employee to take more risks and manage more responsibilities. This plays a crucial role in developing future talents and reliable leaders.
- An Intrapreneur has to come up with creative and innovative ideas. He also has to convert these ideas into successful products leading to profit. However, unlike an entrepreneur, an intrapreneur does not have to invest any of his money into those projects. The company entirely manages the funds.
- Usually, when an Intrapreneur works for a company, there is a joint profit agreement. The company provides a certain percentage of the profit to the intrapreneur. Hence, intrapreneurship is a reliable business venture.
- For people who are aiming to establish their businesses, intrapreneurship can be of tremendous help. This phenomenon will provide them with the skillset to be a successful entrepreneur. In such a corporate setting, the cultivation of entrepreneur skills is possible. This merging of two different cultures makes it beneficial for both parties.
Intrapreneurship hasn’t yet reached its peak of popularity. It is a new term in the industry which is slowly gaining its popularity. With the increase in the Freelancing work opportunities along with Remote Working Frameworks; this sort of working culture is only destined to gain more popularity around the world.
Let us be more specific about the differences between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur to understand Intrapreneurship in more explicit fashion-
Intrapreneurs vs Entrepreneurs – The Difference
Intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship are two very different concepts.
They both have certain vital similarities. But specific evident differences set them apart from each other. Let us look at certain prominent differences between them-
- An Intrapreneur is an employee of the company. He is responsible for an entire project. Hence, he has complete authority over the managing process, decision making, and bringing the project to completion. On the other hand, an entrepreneur is an individual who has created and established his firm. He isn’t employed in any organisation.
- An Intrapreneur only has to come up with the skills and ideas to execute the project. He does not have to fund the project. The project is sponsored by the organisation that employs him. An entrepreneur not only manages the project but also invests in his capital. He has to come up with his funds and resources to execute the project.
- Even though the Intrapreneur enjoys full authority over the project, he isn’t entirely independent. He is still connected to the organisation. Hence, he has to maintain concurrence with the company while handling responsibility. An entrepreneur, however, is entirely independent of making all decisions regarding his business. He isn’t liable to anyone.
- An Intrapreneur doesn’t set up a new organisation. He is already an employee of a firm and sets his new department. An entrepreneur, however, establishes his business from scratch. Initially, this business is small-scale. But with time, it expands depending on the profits incurred.
Relation between Intrapreneurs and Entrepreneurs
There is a significant difference between an Intrapreneur and an Entrepreneur.
The different points were highlighted before. However, these two concepts are interlinked. In simple words, intrapreneurship is the phase that is followed by entrepreneurship.
An Intrapreneur can take risks and essential business decisions.
These things can be done without facing the threats that an entrepreneur does.
An intrapreneur can use his skills, test his theories, and determine which methods work best for the company. An entrepreneur can not perform this trial and error method. The reason being that his firm may incur more losses than it can handle. This can be devastating in case the organization is new.
All these skills and experiences imbibed by the intrapreneur are of paramount importance. With this skillset, an intrapreneur can pursue his career as an entrepreneur.
Intrapreneurship prepares a person for entrepreneurship. This critical relationship is one of the most important advantages of adopting intrapreneurship in your portfolio.
Elements of Intrapreneurship
An intrapreneurship consists of three crucial elements. These three elements form the backbone of this concept. These three elements are as follows-
- An intrapreneur or in this case, you.
- A project that you are planning to take up. This project may either be the main activity of the company or a new entity altogether.
- A mentor or in this case, a more extensive and well-established organization that is willing to provide you with authority to manage the entire show, can act as the same.
You and your mentor together form a strong team that takes up a project which can be either of the two mentioned above.
Types of Intrapreneurship
There are two main types of intrapreneurship. They are as follows-
1) Intrapreneurship that adds value to the company
This type is the more common one and is employed by most companies that have adopted intrapreneurship as part of their business policy.
This concept is directly linked to the main project taken up by the company.
The main project adds value to the company.
Put, the innovative idea that you propose will add value and enhance the profits of your company. It also enables creativity, innovativeness, and out-of-the-box thinking capacity of the employees.
2) Intrapreneurship managing spin-off projects
A company handles multiple projects at a time.
A spin-off project is the one that is not directly linked to the main project. But unlike popular opinion, spin-off projects are as valuable and profitable to the company as the main project. Hence, they are equally crucial to the firm.
In the main activity or project, the company decides to create a whole new business venture. But in spin-off projects, the company takes a smaller step. It decides to establish a new entity in the same firm.
The Intrapreneur handles the newly created entity.
The involvement of the parent company varies depending on the type of project. There can either be the exchange of resources or the transfer of knowledge between the parent company and the intrapreneur.
The need for Intrapreneurship in Today’s Time
Employees are an essential asset of every company or organization.
They decide the progress and overall growth of the firm. The biggest mistake that a company can make is to delimit the creativity and innovativeness of its employees. This prevents the growth of not only the employees but also the company.
By limiting the scope of newer ideas, you are also falling behind and becoming obsolete. In today’s competitive world, no company can afford this backdrop.
There are many ways of enabling employees to exploit their intellectual faculties. Intrapreneurship is one of the most effective ways of bringing out an employee’s original ideas and skills. It provides them with a platform to work under high stakes and pressure. They are taught to take more risks and tackle difficult situations.
Intrapreneurship also instills authority and confidence in the employees. The positive growth of the employees automatically bodes well of the company. This is how a company progresses.
Adopting intrapreneurship in a company can also prove to be helpful for a person who is looking to start his own company. Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t an easy task. It requires appropriate managing skills, an analytical mind, and decision-making capabilities.
All these skills can be easily developed through intrapreneurship. It also provides a safe environment for people to take risks and test out theories. Through this, you can also determine which policies work best for the company.
Wrapping it up!
Entrepreneurship is one of the essential phenomena dominating the business world. It has reached its peak of popularity, creating a draught of unemployment in the managing world. There was a massive gap between the companies and entrepreneurs. This paved the way for a new concept called Intrapreneurship, that clubs two different ideas together, i.e., management and entrepreneurship. Thus, it built a bridge safeguarding the interests of both entities.
In simple words, an intrapreneur is an employee of an organization that single-handedly manages an entire project.
Even though the Intrapreneur enjoys the responsibilities of an entrepreneur, he is still liable to the company. He also does not have to face the risks that are faced by an entrepreneur.
An Intrapreneur is just involved in creating new ideas and converting those ideas into useful products. He does not have to search for resources or fund his projects. The company is responsible for the funding procedure. This is one of the most critical advantages of intrapreneurship.
There is a fine line between intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. But the former generally leads to the latter. Hence, these two concepts are interrelated. Intrapreneurship instills the essential qualities and skills in the employees. Therefore, every company needs to adopt this concept into their business policies.
What your thoughts about the significance of Intrapreneurship are in today’s time? Do you think the future working of businesses would be based upon the concepts of Intrapreneurship? Share your views with us in the comments below.