Difference between Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

Key Difference: Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, and doing everything else that is required for that. Intrapreneurs are similar to Entrepreneurs in the sense that behave exactly like an entrepreneur, except in the sense that they don’t start their own business, they work for someone else.

EntrepreneurThese days everyone dreams of being an entrepreneur, of starting your own business to life like on their own terms. However, that is easier said than done. An entrepreneur must start at the very bottom, come up with an innovative or groundbreaking idea, develop it, as well as hire and manage their team. In short, it can be said that entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, and doing everything else that is required for that.

All of this can be quite intimidating for a person, and is not usually everyone’s cup of tea, this is where intrapreneurs come in. Intrapreneurs are similar to Entrepreneurs in the sense that they also have to come up with risk-taking and innovation approaches while managing a team. In all sense and purpose they behave exactly like an entrepreneur, except in the sense that they don’t start their own business, instead they do all of this in someone else’s business. Hence, it can be said that they get to be an Entrepreneurs while still have the job security which comes with working in a company.

Due to their similarities, intrapreneurs are often categorized as a subcategory of entrepreneurs, as they do everything that an entrepreneur does, expect just for someone else. In fact the term itself references this, intra- means inside, hence intrapreneurs are an inside entrepreneur.

While an entrepreneur is the head of everything, since it is their company, an intrapreneurs are often employees within a company who are assigned to work on a special idea or project. Their task is to develop the project like an entrepreneur would, without incurring all the risks involved with the task.

IntrapreneurIn order to achieve a task like this, an entrepreneur would have to source the resources and capabilities from outside, whether that includes getting a business loan, getting investors, or hiring staff and purchasing resources. An intrapreneur, on the other hand, has the resources and capabilities of the company who they work for at their disposal.

However, an intrapreneur must also respond and reply to the higher ups in their company, hence they don’t have the complete and total freedom that entrepreneurs usually enjoy. They do have job security, which the entrepreneurs lack.

Comparison between Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs:

 

Entrepreneurs

Intrapreneurs

Category

Business

Business

Description

Entrepreneur runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture, idea, or good or service offered for sale

Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization.

Seen as

Entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes

An Intrapreneur is also commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes

Independence

Independent, runs own business

Works for a company or another person

Resources

Has to source the resources and capabilities from outside, whether that includes getting a business loan, getting investors, or hiring staff and purchasing resources.

Has the resources and capabilities of the company who they work for at their disposal.

Tasks

Has to deal everything, no matter how small or how large

Has a much broader vision for an established company. Must deal with only the big things, there are other’s to handle the small stuff.

Freedom

Has freedom and autonomy. Need not report to anyone unless has investors.

Has the freedom and autonomy for professional growth, but may have to report to whoever hired them.

Reference: Wikipedia (Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs),
Investopedia (Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs), Our Knowledge, AFCE
Image Courtesy: dotcomplicated.co, forbes.com

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