Similarities Between Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

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In a white paper titled "Intra-Corporate Entrepreneurship," Gifford Pinchot III and Elizabeth S. Pinchot coined the term "intrapreneur" in 1978. An intrapreneur, like an entrepreneur, promotes innovation by developing new ideas and products. Learn the distinctions between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs, as well as how each of these roles functions in the business world.


What Is an Intrapreneur?

An intrapreneur works for a company or organization to develop unique project ideas, products, or services that the company can market. An intrapreneur has access to critical resources within a company as an employee, such as funds and technology. Intrapreneurs use their inventive and creative minds to develop projects that benefit the company in a variety of ways. Intrapreneurship can be defined as the development of projects that improve company processes, the creation of marketable products for the company to sell, or the resolution of company pain points.


Three Similarities Between Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

When developing a new product or operational strategy, intrapreneurs frequently use entrepreneurial skills. Here are a few more instances where the two roles intersect:

1. Leadership: Intrapreneurs lead a team of employees from various departments within a company to complete a project. As a result of their communication with both team members and company executives, intrapreneurs have excellent leadership skills. Entrepreneurs also serve as leaders by taking charge of their new business or product. Some entrepreneurs launch their new venture projects on their own, while others lead a small team.

2. Mindset: Because both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs strive for innovation and creation, they have a similar work mindset. You must be adaptable and flexible to work in any creative position. Adaptability is a valuable asset in an intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial workplace. When trying to build a new product, design, or procedure, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs frequently face obstacles; however, during these setbacks, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs problem-solve for a new solution. Failure is viewed as an opportunity for learning and growth by both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs. Only some projects will be successful, but understanding what went wrong will better prepare you for the future.

3. Skills: Successful intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs possess comparable skill sets. Intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship, for example, both necessitate critical thinking, risk management, leadership, communication, decision-making, and marketing abilities. While an intrapreneur may work for a large corporation while an entrepreneur runs their own business, both are concerned with business growth and thus require analytical skills as well as innovative ideas.


4 Differences Between Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

While the two roles have some similarities, there are some differences between them, including:

1. Funds: One advantage of working as an intrapreneur is that you don't have to find ways to fund your ideas because the company provides the necessary resources and funds to support your project. Entrepreneurs work for themselves, so they do not have a single company backing their small business ventures. Instead, entrepreneurs fund their projects with their own money or with the money of outside investors.

2. Purpose: The goals of intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs are not the same. Intrapreneurs seek to improve an existing business, whereas entrepreneurs seek to build a new business or service from the ground up.

3. Resources: Large organizations and corporations have resources available across departments that intrapreneurs can use to assist with project management. Networks with other industry clients, mentoring programs with supervisors, and marketing and IT teams are just a few of the resources available. The average entrepreneur does not have the same resources as a large corporation or established organization. As a result, successful entrepreneurs must frequently fundraise and network in order to see their projects through to completion.

4. Risk: Another significant distinction between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs is their approach to risk in terms of financial gains and losses. While both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs create business plans with clear risk-taking strategies, entrepreneurs take on more financial risk. Intrapreneurs face limited risk as company employees if a project fails; however, entrepreneurs face a wide range of risks.


Is there a difference between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs?

Working as an intrapreneur or entrepreneur has advantages and disadvantages. While entrepreneurs have the freedom to run their own startups, they bear the entire risk if their business fails. Intrapreneurs have the support of an existing company and thus face less financial risk; however, because they are employees of a company, they have less freedom. Your personal goals will determine whether you should work as an intrapreneur within an established company or as an entrepreneur on your own.

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