What is an Intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship is a system and a process which allows its employees to develop their entrepreneurial skill & mindset and act like an entrepreneur by working within the company.
Intrapreneurship is very close to entrepreneurship where people can learn and polish their skills by working within the company, and then they can start their own business later. Intrapreneurs are usually proactive and self-motivated individuals who have the skill and the mindset to become the leader.
According to Skinner SJ & Ivancevich JM, Intrapreneurship is defined as
- “An entrepreneurial person employed by a corporation and encouraged to be innovative and creative”
- “a person with entrepreneurial characteristics who is employed within a large corporation.”
- “are usually found in enterprises that encourage experimentation, tolerate failure, recognize success and share the wealth”.
Intrapreneurship Vs Entrepreneurship
Intrapreneurs is an individual who works within the company or an organization and act as a leader of one’s startup business. Intrapreneurs usually have his team or group of people working for him of his product or service which may be different from the company’s main line of business.
Entrepreneur, on the other hand, is a person who doesn’t work for anyone and runs one’s own business or company. For good or bad, he has complete autonomy and responsibility of his company.
One of the main differences between Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs is that entrepreneur just focuses on his own business only. Intrapreneur keeps his focus on the entire image and productivity of the company.
Compared to entrepreneurship; Intrapreneurship is less autonomous and less risky. Here are some of the key Characteristics of Intrapreneurship which makes attracts Intrapreneurs;
An Intrapreneur doesn’t have to worry about the capital that how he’d be able to raise capital for the development of his research. He just has to focus on his innovative idea and keep working on it, the company will take care of the rest.
Many young entrepreneurs fail at the beginning of their startup is because they are unable to raise sufficient capital to fund their research and creative work.
Whether it’s the office, building, technology, manpower, or any other resources; which research requires to develop something new that’s likely to be the next big thing, all of these resources are available to the Intrapreneurs if the idea of the product is viable and sustainable in the long term.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, don’t have the luxury of all the resources, if the research is limited, then they can manage. If the idea is big, then it’d require a lot of financial funding and resources to execute their plan.
By dependency I mean autonomy or freedom; Intrapreneurs usually have less dependency than the entrepreneurs because the company is funding all the research and experiments and providing all the resources. They also want some results in return; therefore, the funding and all the resources have a price of delivering results.
This makes Intrapreneurs more productive, but they’re working on a tight deadline to produce some outcomes. Entrepreneurs are their boss with fewer resources, but they have a complete autonomy.
The risk factor is almost none in Intrapreneurship because Intrapreneurs use all the company’s resources to experiment with new approaches to make their product work. Innovative ideas and creative approaches often lead to something productive.
Entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury of experimenting with new approaches over and over again because of fewer resources and funding. If the idea works, then it’ll pay off everything. If it doesn’t, then it’d lead the entrepreneur to bankruptcy.
Intrapreneurs have to share with the reward with their team members and the company as well. Win, win situation for everyone. It doesn’t mean a lower portion of the reward if the idea is big and becomes successful; then the chunk of the reward is also big even after sharing.
Having said earlier, Intrapreneurs work in a team and within the company. Therefore, intrapreneurial decisions are also based on the votes and the majority. If the idea is viable and sustainable in the long term, then it’ll be voted yes. Otherwise, it won’t.
Entrepreneurs have the autonomy of making independent decisions on their own.
Benefits of Intrapreneurship for Businesses
Intrapreneurship is necessary for large organizations to keep the growth and productivity intact. Some of the advantages of Intrapreneurship for businesses are as follows;
Intrapreneur is the person with leadership skill and he’s working on the tight deadline to deliver results. He will keep his team motivated so that they remain excited to meet their targets. In the process of doing it, the productivity of the company keeps on increasing.
Intrapreneurs are usually assigned to certain tasks of the company to improve different processes. If the output of the company has slowed down, then they investigate the cause of the problem and find creative ways to solve the issue in hand. If they see the gap in performance, then they will evaluate different functions of the company to minimize the gap or to finish it.
Intrapreneurs adopt creative and innovative ways to keep things changing in the company. Keep imagining and visualizing different scenarios innovative ways to increase the growth level of the company.
Love to take Risk
Intrapreneurs are risk-takers and they are not afraid to fail. Lack of fear has a different level of confidence because people usually make mistakes when they are under pressure. They take calculated risks and their chances of failure are very low; because they know that the failure would also teach a unique lesson of what to avoid in the future under what circumstances.
Example of Intrapreneurship
Here are some big companies which have adopted Intrapreneurship to keep the entrepreneurial talent intact, not to leave the company.
Sony has been producing many products; PlayStation game is one of them. However, this game was developed by one of its junior-level employee, Ken Kutaragi.
When Nintendo broke up his partnership with Sony; and made alliance with Philip. Sony appointed Ken Kutaragi to look after the projects of Nintendo what he was working on. Ken, however, saw the opportunity in the ‘PlayStation’ gaming project and kept working on it and finally, launched the video on December 03, 1994.
Facebook conducts an annual one-night competition by the name ‘‘hack-a-thone’’ where programmers and coders work on an idea to produce something new. In started 2007 when they developed a prototype Facebook ‘‘like’’ button and it’s been going on ever since.
Silicon Valley Entrepreneur for ‘‘new business initiative’’ is the intrapreneurial initiative launched by Intel in 1998, where employees are invited to pitch their ideas if their ideas are viable, then they receive funding and resources. Ever since it was launched, more than 400 hundred Intel’s employees have pitched their business ideas so far. More than two dozen employees have received funding for their projects.