Entrepreneurship is the willingness to change, develop and manage a business venture while facing any risks associated with it to generate profits. In other words, it’s “the pursuit of opportunity beyond the resources you currently control.” Intrapreneurship, on the other hand, refers to a new business or venture created within a large or established organization.

Intrapreneurs are “dreamers who do,” or individuals who take a hands-on approach to follow their dreams and turn their ideas into innovations within an established organization.

Intrapreneurship is principally about the value that individuals can bring to their organizations through their entrepreneurial spirit.

Entrepreneurship’s Relationship to Culture and Innovation

The adage “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” attributed to management consultant Peter Drucker, is highly relevant here. Drucker emphasized the significance of culture in any organization, which is embedded in its goals, strategy, structure, performance management approach and more. If the culture is strong, the strategy may be weaker, but with shared cultural values, norms, and attitudes, there is a way out.

An organization’s culture, not its strategies, determines its success. It is a secret lever that promotes entrepreneurship and allows more to be done with less. Furthermore, entrepreneurship innovation depends on having a “can do” mindset.

Is Gig Economy Also Entrepreneurship?

Freelancers, self-employed individuals and “solopreneurs” are all emerging as job titles. Self-employment has become increasingly common in every field, including the field of learning and development (L&D). More people are being drawn to the appeal of self-sufficiency that relieves the stress of climbing the corporate ladder.

The gig economy is a precursor, in many cases, to an entrepreneurial venture, as it provides individuals with an income to pay the bills so that they can focus on pursuing their business ventures.  An added benefit is working on one’s own terms, and freelancing allows you to sell your expertise for more than you would be valued as an employee. According to Gallup, over 50 million people are currently a part of the rapidly expanding gig economy, and companies that do not embrace gig workers will be left apart. It’s definitely here to stay and grow!

The core difference between self-employed and entrepreneurs isn’t found within the working environment or workload. Fundamentally, it lies in their mindset. In plain words, how they think or vision the business world.

So, the concept of entrepreneurship and self-employment overlap at times.

Importance of Intrapreneurship for Continued Success

In a world that is changing every day, the average lifespan of a Fortune 500 company continues to decline. But why? Market disruptions, mergers and acquisitions, and not being able to compete with changing technology are among the reasons companies dissolve at a more rapid pace than in the past.

However, the ability to quickly adapt to change is where startups are at an advantage: Many startups succeed because established, larger companies are not meeting current customer demands. Thus, established organizations could learn a thing or two from startups when it comes to innovation and adaptability.

New technology and business models will continue to emerge at a rapid pace. So, the ability to make calculated risks for individuals and organizations is crucial. The ability to scope and calculate risk will set you apart from the masses.

Whether it’s entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship, it’s always a team sport. It takes many people to successfully run any business.

Top 3 Practices from Entrepreneurship to Ace Intrapreneurship

  1. Change the definition of failure: Consider failure a trial that did not work out.
  2. Try something new: If it doesn’t work, figure out why and what may have been done differently before trying it again. Many of us are focused on not making mistakes so much that we avoid trying anything different or new.
  3. Don’t be afraid to stray off the beaten path.

Impact of Intrapreneurship on an Organization

In order to mix intrapreneurial competencies with new development opportunities in the future of work, organizations will need to upskill their people. Here’s a few ways in which intrapreneusrhip can benefit your business:

1.      It Promotes Growth

Intrapreneurship aims to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and connectivity required to support growth. It approaches growth from a holistic view. No doubt it is a transformational framework. Intrapreneurship assists organizations in developing new revenue streams.

2.      It Drives Innovation

Intrapreneurship is tied to innovation, which businesses must embrace and support. It is critical to have an environment conducive for promoting innovation, the right strategy for identifying problems and giving optimal solutions, the perfect setting for bringing new ideas to life, and the right individuals. By combining these features, intrapreneurship stimulates and sustains innovation.


3.      It Develops Leadership

Intrapreneurship necessitates the acquisition of new abilities and behaviors. Different thoughts, actions, aspirations and motivations are characteristics of intrapreneurial leaders. Intrapreneurs, therefore, can help lead new growth initiatives in the organization. Intrapreneurship is one of the best ways to attract and retain your most entrepreneurial leaders.

4.      It Contributes to Change

Intrapreneurial leaders set trends, breaking new ground and transforming into the change they seek. Intrapreneurship allows firms to gain traction by rebranding their organization and making necessary adjustments to make their organization more responsive to market developments.

5.      It Increases Engagement

Intrapreneurship offers an opportunity to engage employees in challenging and rewarding work. Intrapreneurs are devoted to their work. Their enthusiasm and perseverance motivate others to participate and experiment with new things. Furthermore, their growth is the organization’s growth.

The Big Picture

Intrapreneurship has become a necessity for all organizations and a means of survival for others. Intrapreneurship produces long-term benefits for L&D when supported at the organizational level, such as increased productivity, better financial growth, stronger engagement and more innovation.