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4 Min. Read

What Is Intrapreneurship? Definition & Characteristics

What is Intrapreneurship? Definition & Characteristics

With the rise of technology, entrepreneurship has become a career path for many people around the world. The role of an entrepreneur has evolved over the years and they could operate small businesses or larger companies.

Essentially, entrepreneurship is when you start a business with the intention of making a profit. It’s an opportunity for self-motivated people to pave their own way and generate their own income by working for themselves. Intrapreneurship has some similarities, however, there are some major differences worth noting.

Let’s take a look at what intrapreneurship is, some of its characteristics and find out how it can contribute to innovative projects.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is Intrapreneurship?

What Are the Characteristics of Intrapreneurship?

Why Is Intrapreneurship Important?

Key Takeaways

What Is Intrapreneurship?

In a simple sense, the concept of intrapreneurship is one step away from being an entrepreneur. It’s a system that lets an employee act as though they are an entrepreneur when they work within a company or organization. Intrapreneurs are proactive, self-motivated and action-oriented. And they take initiative for innovative products or services.

Intrapreneurship enables an environment where employees can contribute to the company. There is a lot of freedom that comes with it and there is a ton of room for growth within a business or organization.

It can be important for employers to recognize and promote intrapreneurship. Recognizing and encouraging it can have benefits for the employee and the business. It’s a process of empowering your employees to share their ideas to help convert them into profit-making models for the company. They can build their entrepreneurial skills and leadership skills, and make a positive impact on company culture.

What Are the Characteristics of Intrapreneurship?

There aren't really any rules of intrapreneurship. But there are some major similarities between intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. And while they are similar, some distinct characteristics make up intrapreneurship.

These are the characteristics:

  • Diversification. Intrapreneurship helps promote teams with people from different backgrounds, age groups and genders.
  • Innovative approach. It’s a creative initiative to progress the employee and the business professionally.
  • Restoration concept. Intrapreneurs add value by helping to improve products and services, methods or perceptions.
  • Mutual benefit. An employee achieves empowerment, self-satisfaction and self-actualisation. Plus, the company also sees growth.
  • Calculated risk. Any risk that might be involved in a project or idea gets analyzed and planned before it’s executed.
  • There’s no investment by the intrapreneur. Even though they may have come up with or generated the idea, they don’t need to invest their own money in the project. The business funds the idea or project with its own money at each stage.
  • Profit-sharing agreement. Sometimes a profit-sharing agreement can get signed between the employee and the company.

Why Is Intrapreneurship Important?

There are several benefits to intrapreneurship. It allows the opportunity to penetrate new markets and obtain economic stability. You can also empower your employees to contribute to innovative growth.

Here is a breakdown of some of the biggest benefits to intrapreneurship.

  • You can penetrate new markets. A new idea is sometimes all it takes to see new business opportunities. An intrapreneur can foster an idea to grow within a new or an existing market.
  • Your employees become empowered. By encouraging employees to share their ideas and think outside the box, they become empowered. You can also strengthen your bond with your workforce by providing more authority and responsibility.
  • You can have optimum human resource utilization. There’s an opportunity for employees who are outperforming their key responsibilities to take on more.
  • You can achieve economic stability. Rapid innovation and new ideas can help address market instability and economic downturns.
  • You can achieve innovative growth. Ideas are the foundation of development. So, if you nurture and foster an idea well, then intrapreneurs are going to play an integral role in the growth of your business.

Key Takeaways

An intrapreneur is basically knocking on the door of an entrepreneur. They’re very similar in regards to their innovative idea generation and autonomy. Yet, the biggest difference is that intrapreneurs are part of a company or organization.

Recognizing and promoting intrapreneurship within your company can have some significant benefits. Not only will you empower your employees to share their innovative ideas. But you can also penetrate new markets, work towards economic stability and achieve innovative growth.

You can also provide more freedom to employees or work with senior management on new employee initiatives. This will help foster a culture of innovation and allow intrapreneurial employees to take a proactive approach.

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