Entrepreneurship is well known as the act of running a business. Businesses are essential for the economy as they create multiple job opportunities and drive economic growth. There is a lot of online information on the qualities entrepreneurs need to start their own businesses and succeed.
However, owning a business is not for everyone, as it is a time-consuming and stressful endeavour. Based on this, is there a way to improve our entrepreneurial skills and better prepare ourselves to start our own businesses? Do those qualities have any value outside of owning and running a business?
This article will define intrapreneurship, identify the benefits of entrepreneurship to organizations, and how the advantages to employees-intrapreneurs. Let’s get to it.
What is Intrapreneurship?
Intrapreneurship is to act entrepreneurial inside an existing organization. That means exhibiting the qualities entrepreneurs typically have that distinguish them from the non-entrepreneurial types. Creativity, innovative thinking, risk-taking, strong work ethic, and leadership are only some examples of skills that employees can possess no matter their position.
Intrapreneurship as a term is attributed to Gifford Pinchot III, American entrepreneur, author, inventor, and president of Pinchot & Company, from a paper he wrote in 1978 titled “Intra-Corporate Entrepreneurship”.
Why Is Intrapreneurship Important?
Intrapreneurship is important for organizations and employees as it helps them grow and thrive.
All for profit businesses should strive for innovation. This is even more important in turbulent times like these, where technology advances at a breakneck speed together with environmental concerns. These two create a dynamic environment being a source of various changes that businesses need to be aware of to remain competitive.
An organizational culture of innovation allows businesses to be adaptive to those changes and be ahead of the competition. But for organizations to innovate from within, apart from an innovation culture, they also need the right people for the job.
Intrapreneurs are some of the best candidates for the task at hand. But there needs to be the right support system in place that will allow them to do what they know best. To innovate, Intrapreneurs act and think like entrepreneurs minus the risks, primarily financial, which doing business is usually associated with.
Intrapreneurship Can Be The Beginning of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is a scary endeavour that involves risks, costs and the fear of the unknown. That’s why it’s not for everyone, or there needs to be the perfect timing to start a business.
Those interested in entrepreneurship and willing to hone their skills before embarking on their own entrepreneurial journey can start out as intrapreneurs. Intrapreneurship is similar to entrepreneurship but with a twist.
Intrapreneurs are encouraged to innovate within their own departments, but there is a safety net in the case of failure. There are companies that are afraid of change and failure, while others embrace it. They know that failure is almost inevitable, and that is an important step of the learning process.
In such environment, intrapreneurs can thrive as they can try out their ideas and see how they pan out. Adapt them and try again. That’s pretty much how entrepreneurship works in the real world.
When successful intrapreneurs feel confident, they can leave their organization and start their own venture.
Innovation is critical for all businesses as it allows them to embrace change and be competitive. However, organizations to innovate need to have the human capital for it, and intrapreneurs are a good source for this. Intrapreneurs, or the workers who act as entrepreneurs inside an organization, can exhibit the entrepreneurial qualities responsible for business success and growth. Apart from organizations, intrapreneurship can also benefit workers immensely as they can start preparing for their own entrepreneurial journey from the safety of a big business.
Intrapreneurship is only one way of many that can help you feel confident enough to start out as a budding entrepreneur. EYES is an Erasmus+ project that seeks to train first-time entrepreneurs and equip them with the skills need to create successful businesses with a focus on sustainability, social impact and the SDGs.
Stay tuned to learn to find more about the project and entrepreneurship news.