I was able to teach the distinction of these concepts about three years ago in an undergraduate program. Recently, these concepts came up in my personal studies in creativity and entrepreneurship. I decided to publish my ideas on it in this piece because I am continually amazed by the amount of innovation that I observe in the new companies in my home country.
Many new and small business owners I have met are the ones who have turned their passions into something concrete. Some of us work ” on the side ” and still work for another business. This could be the main difference between an entrepreneurial or an intrapreneur.
According to Edinburgh Napier University, an entrepreneur is
“a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on greater financial risks in order to do so” and more broadly:
“Someone who specialises in taking judgmental decisions about the coordination of scarce resources”
However, the majority of people believe that intrapreneurs are merely internal entrepreneurs. However, do we fully know the significance of an intrapreneur? While it is true that there are some unique similarities, the fundamental principle is that an intrapreneur is someone who has entrepreneurial characteristics and traits but operates within an organization and is awed by the security it offers. An intrapreneur:
“An employee of a major organisation that has the qualities of an entrepreneur of drive, imagination and vision, however, who would prefer, if it is possible to stay in the safety of a reputable firm’. Alan Gibb
‘Any of the “dreamers who do “… The intrapreneur could be the inventor or creator but always the one who can figure out how to transform an idea into an income-generating reality.’ Gifford Pinchot
A lot of intrapreneurs will become entrepreneurs at some point if this is their aim and dream. Indeed, increasing numbers confirm that they’re highly efficient in their own businesses once they take the plunge into the entrepreneurial world on their own.
There are also individuals with entrepreneurial ideas (i.e. their own side business), photographers, graphic artists, MUAs and others, but they aren’t actively involved in the decision-making process or the upper management. They don’t develop new projects or start anything new without permission in the company they work for. They are not actually intrapreneurs but employees. Intrapreneurs are, therefore, innovative and visionary people.
To better understand the differences between these two concepts, let’s take a look at two of the main aspects below.
Intrapreneurs, by definition, don’t have the same level of autonomy that an entrepreneur does. They work within an organization and are accountable to a person. However, they can be granted a lot of responsibility and scope, and higher-level decision making is often with the Board of Directors or CEO.
2. RISK vs REWARD
Every entrepreneur will eventually lose everything they have invested into their business. For the majority of Trinidadians, it could mean risking your finances as well as your health, family mental health and even the future of your business in danger. However, for the majority of us, making these difficult decisions to ensure you can have a better future and remain in control of your future is worth it.
While most entrepreneurs are taking higher risks than the typical employee, however, they do not have to bear the cost if their ventures fail. A good company will always congratulate and reward an employee for their risk-taking even if their project isn’t as successful as they had hoped.