Have you ever wondered what the difference between the words entrepreneur vs intrapreneur is? Despite the fact that both terms have similar sounds, their meanings are not the same.
Let’s be clear before starting off: both an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur have similar characteristics.
An entrepreneur is a person who starts a business based on creative ideas or takes an initiative.
They also run their own business. While an intrapreneur is a company representative who is responsible within a larger corporation and also for creating new things, services, processes, and so on.
In a nutshell, intrapreneurs work for a company, whereas entrepreneurs start, establish, and grow their own company.
Each requires entrepreneurial spirit such as finding possibilities and implementing beneficial techniques for capitalizing on them but they take a variety of forms.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s delve more deeper into the subject and understand each heading in much more detail with examples.
One-half of the pie would find intrapreneur and intrapreneurship appealing.
This is because they get all of the perks which are worth the reward: learning scenarios, opportunities, networking, innovation, creativity, visibility, rewards and much much more.
And to top it all off, all of the above mentioned scenarios come with almost no risk.
Meaning the person is free to innovate and improvise without any particular risk of losing money either of a bankruptcy or any other failure resulting in losing of savings.
This delegation of risk from the individual to the entity he is within holds the most attraction to such intrapreneurs.
Many people either do not have sufficient funds, such risk appetite or simply do not have such backgrounds with which to invest. Also, such activities are time consuming.
Time is the most important factor when it comes to innovation. Research and development plays a key and vital role towards any new discovery of processes or products. Many people would like to be tension free or worry free to do such activities due to many personal reasons.
Being valuable to the company
Also it is very important to mention here that an intrapreneur is one of those people who are regarded as a key resource within the company.
The employer knows the importance of creating competitive advantage over the industry, and only constant innovation can do that.
Such an intrapreneur is not only valuable but is also highly regarded and placed within the hierarchy. He is entitled to a top class salary figure, elite benefits and all of the flexibility required for the person to not focus on monetary gain and only set his sights on intellectual gain.
Not to mention during those times when the employer turns the eye on you, an intrapreneur holds leverage. He is not easily replaceable or cannot be intimated with easily.
Key points of an intrapreneur
Being an intrapreneur or if thinking about transitioning to be an intrapreneur is not an easy task.
One must put some serious thought behind it. To help our readers go smoothly through the process, we have put together some key points to consider when deciding to be an intrapreneur.
Remember, not all is limited to following questions. But these pointers do provide clarity in a normal thinking process.
Can I afford to manage resources on my own or do I need support?
As stated above, the key question is deciding how many resources you want and from where. Is it going to be easy to manage them on your own, or would you need extra support which an already established company can provide?
Security vs Independence. What to opt for?
Do you need a secure job with a stable monthly income or you like to test the waters and go on an adventure? Going on an adventure means no stable income or maybe no income at all for a time, but as they say in finance: higher the risk, more the return.
A secure job would mean intrapreneur.
Tolerance and appetite for managing risks. Bravery or foolishness?
The third question to ask is whether you have an appetite for adventure. Risk is the name of the game.
Do you have the appetite for tolerating pressure and managing added responsibilities?
Does this excite you or does that scare you?
These are integral to finding out your key goal.
Embracing change or navigating through established waters. Preference?
Many people have problems with organizational cultures.
They do not fit with existing norms and like to pave their own path. And some people wouldn’t mind existing cultures as long as they have the freedom and room to play with.
You have to decide whether you prefer something of your own or something which is already there.
If you would like to focus on your skill rather than creating cultures and taking on the headache of motivating others, then intrapreneurship is for you.
Real life companies incorporating intrapreneurship
To help you clarify the matter more, there is nothing better than to cite some real life examples of companies with ample resources for creativity and who thrive on such intrapreneurs.
Did you know Gmail was developed as a result of sole intrapreneurship?
Yes, it was. Its creator Paul Buchheit independently and solely was responsible to build the email application tool and benefitted from the vast resources of the large company to scale it when needed.
Apple and the Macintosh
You must have heard countless times about how Macintosh came into being.
This is a prime example of intrapreneurship.
The whole organization created by the legendary Steve Jobs was built on a culture and on intrapreneurs. They developed the computer who took on Microsoft, a giant at the time.
Meta (previously Facebook)
Meta motivated their employees to go beyond their ordinary job descriptions and do whatever they wanted. And the result?
The like button which we so casually click on when liking videos was a prototype built on one of the company’s organized hackathons. Wouldn’t have been possible without the ample resources of the company.
For the daredevils who would like to start their own adventures at their own pace, own time, with their freedom and be the market leaders one day, entrepreneurship is for them.
Any individual who sets his sights on an individual idea and proceeds to build upon it is an entrepreneur.
This term has gained quite popular especially in the year of the pandemic when times demanded innovative solutions. People stepped up and thought beyond the box.
On this side of the pie, the entrepreneur thinks of a brand new idea and sets off on a venture which is filled with risks, responsibilities and uncertainty.
The product or service he sets out to offer is a shot in the dark, but he knows what he’s doing and he takes the challenge head on.
Being valuable to the society
An entrepreneur is valuable to society and the economy at large. He ultimately sets out on what would be job creation for the country.
He also manages the risks quite clearly and sets out on a path where he can motivate others and be a beacon of hope for the rest.
A new concept is what matters to this individual. Opportunity is ever-present, and the entrepreneur picks up this opportunity and sets out to work on managing time, energy and resources to carry out the task.
He believes in his vision and sets out a mission which inspires others to join him.
Key points of an entrepreneur
Summed up below are some of the key points required for an entrepreneur to recognize himself as so. Any individual who meets the following criteria can become an entrepreneur.
There is no limitation and there are ample examples of people achieving the impossible.
Once again, it should be stated that due diligence and an acute sense of self-awareness is required when deciding upon your role.
A new concept – an initiator
A unique idea is a core behind entrepreneurship. The will to initiate and to drive comes very close.
When an individual knows he has an idea or the execution to do something never done before, that is when he starts to think like an entrepreneur.
Recognizing and then grasping the opportunity
Grasping any opportunity is also key for such an individual. As is stated by wise men throughout centuries, opportunities seldom come twice, and the entrepreneur is not hesitant when grabbing such opportunities.
He sets out on the task and daunts ahead.
Taking on the uncertainty and the volatility
Having an appetite for risks and tolerating uncertain environments is also key. Survival is the name of the game, and an entrepreneur knows volatility is how markets play out.
He is patient, knows how to work situations to his advantage and then proceeds on to the next stage.
Responsible for the company and for others
He is a responsible person. He is responsible for his created company and for every individual who has decided to join his path in achieving his vision and his mission.
He takes responsibility for their jobs, profits and how to give them the best culture and environment there is.
Real life examples of entrepreneurs
Following companies brought something new and innovative to the market and succeeded to be not only market leaders but a magnet for their added value and services.
The messaging app has become the go-to application for businesses and personal communication. The app went on to go from being a startup to a billion dollar company, which profited from its takeover.
Uber, the driving application which disrupted the transport industry was also set up by entrepreneurs. It transformed the way industry worked and achieved what was never possible before.
A global monster now was a startup by Bill Gates with his group of entrepreneurs.
They brought disruption to the world by introducing computer operating systems which are operated globally on almost more than half of personal and professional computers.