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“…a person within a large corporation who takes direct
responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished
product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.”
(The American Heritage Dictionary)
AKA “INTERNAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP”
“Intrapreneurship” is innovation within a company
Intrapreneurship can flourish in any organization. It’s just a matter of
identifying these people, developing strategy, encouraging
participation and committing to a culture of innovation.
ENTREPRENEUR VS. INTRAPRENEUR
Besides the first five letters, a few things distinguish
entrepreneurs from intrapreneurs.
1. An insider:
• An entrepreneur is generally responsible for creating a new
• Intrapreneurs works within an existing firm, recognizing errors
and creating solutions to better the company.
2. Risk Taker:
Intrapreneurs question the status quo or authority, but they aren’t
responsible for the fate of the company.
Entrepreneurs have gone out on their own and are dependent on
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN INTRAPRENEUR
Intrapreneurs recognize and learn from mistakes, then
adapt to find new solutions
They posses ingenuity, bringing creativity to the
workplace and applying it to everyday situations
Goes Against the Grain
Innovation is the name of the game, intrapreneurs often
have a rebellious spirit.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN INTRAPRENEUR (CONT.)
Internally & Externally Focused
They understand the needs of company and customers.
Perspective is essential and they see the world through
many different lenses
Like any leader, they must trust their judgment and
ability. Confidence and independence enables them to
convey ideas, even controversial ones
A good idea is one thing, but quantifying costs and
benefits, understanding short vs. long-term implications,
and successfully pitching the idea spells success for an
WHAT INTRAPRENEURSHIP DOES:
Internal entrepreneurship helps your company foster
success in a number of ways
1. Catches problems before customers do
2. Focuses on the big picture AND small details
3. Invests in your business
4. Challenges conventional thinking
5. Engages employees.
Employee satisfaction leads to better staff, fewer mistakes,
lower turnover, and a happier customer.
Embracing an intrapreneurial culture is undoubtedly one
way to involve workers.
GM workers suggested 44,000 ideas in just one quarter
and one plant saved $900K using employee suggestions
A scientist at 3M developed Post-it notes after
discovering a new glue that was sticky, but not too
sticky. It’s now one of their top products.
Gmail, Google’s beloved email service was the result of
the 20% time project. This program encouraged
employees to spend 20% of their time working on
personal or side projects and engrained
intrapreneurship into their company culture.
GIVE IT A SHOT
You might not come up with the next Post-It Note by next
week, but that’s okay.
There are endless possibilities for improvement! Encourage a
culture of innovation and strategic thinking and see what
happens. And if you think one idea is too small, wait until you