Intrapreneur Vs. Entrepreneur

October 17, 2019by hannah

Intrapreneur Vs. Entrepreneur

The first appearance of the term Intrapreneur was in the book, intrapreneuring: why you don’t have to leave the corporation to become an entrepreneur.

Gifford and Elizabeth, the authors of the book, defined an Intrapreneur as a dreamer who actually takes action. They take pro-active responsibility for coming up with innovative ideas within an organization.

Even though the term has been in use for several decades now, it is not yet clear how intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship are related.

Although the terms are different, both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Who Is an Intrapreneur?

The major difference between an Intrapreneur and an entrepreneur is the setting in which they work.

An entrepreneur, rather than working as an employee, runs a business. He/she shoulders all the risks and enjoys the rewards of the business venture.

An Intrapreneur on the other hand, works as an entrepreneur inside an organization. They make use of their entrepreneurial abilities to launch a product within a large firm. Since they do not own the firm, Intrapreneurs do not undertake much risk.

What Do Intrapreneurs and Entrepreneurs Share in Common

Intrapreneurs and Intrapreneurs share several traits including;

 Leadership Skills

Strong leadership skills are one of the most important characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs alike. They have to be able to convince others to get on board and motivate them to work towards the achievement of a common goal. Diverse approaches to leadership and creative management are common traits in both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs.

Intelligence and Vision

Intelligence means having the right tool and skill set to complete a project. Vision is the ability to recognize trends and take maximum advantage of emerging opportunities.

Successful entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs have the ability to balance business acumen with passion and innovation.


Intrapreneur sand entrepreneurs alike have the flexibility to quickly change when challenges and problems arise. Even the most well thought out plans can face obstacles. Adaptability helps entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to respond effectively to every situation.

This trait is one of the major reasons entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs stand out.

Advantages of Being an Intrapreneur

Working within organizations with already established frameworks is highly beneficial to an Intrapreneur.  One such advantage is that their companies can present them with the resources they need. They can easily get a legal team, human resource and financial oversight.

Additionally, intrapreneurship allows professionals to make use of funding from the existing organization.  As long as the project is given a green light, there is no need to raise capital.

Intrapreneurs also have the benefit of having mentors such as supervisors and other within the organization. They can utilize them as valuable resources.

Differences Between Intraprenurship and Entrepreneurship

While intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs share a number of similarities, they also differ from each other in many ways.

Some of these differences include:

Core Objectives and Primary Motives

The objective of an Intrapreneur is to increase their organization’s competitive strength and market sustainability. Their motive is usually to enhance their organization’s autonomy and rewarding capacity. Entrepreneurs on the other hand are motivated by several things. They try to come up with unique solutions to societal problems while at the same time creating financial freedom for themselves. They are also motivated by creating a great legacy that will outlive them among other things.


Intrapreneurs are employees in an organization who are looking for freedom of work. Entrepreneurs are free and sovereign people who are not concerned with status.

Failures and Mistakes

Intrapreneurs are forced to keep their risk projects secret due to the concern for failure and mistakes. Conversely, entrepreneurs embrace failure and mistakes as learning opportunities.


An entrepreneur bears all the risks associated with their business venture. An Intrapreneur does not bear a lot of risk since they do not have to sacrifice their resources to fund their idea.


Intrapreneurs do not make decisions on their own. They have to involve others such as their bosses in the decision making process. In contrast, entrepreneurs make independent decisions to execute their dreams.

Whom Serves

Intrapreneurs serve themselves as well as their organization while entrepreneurs serve themselves and their customers.

Relationship with Others

For intrapreneurs the relationships they form in the workplace are defined by the authorities in the organization. For an entrepreneur, relationships re based on interaction and negotiation.

Time Orientation

Although an Intrapreneur must follow the time limits stipulated by the organization they work for, they can also willingly choose to spend more time on their work. Entrepreneurs have complete control over their time.

Attitude Towards Destiny

Intrapreneurs are highly confident individuals with a strong desire to achieve their goals. They often follow their self-style beyond the given structures.

Entrepreneurs on the other hand are highly adaptive even when they are following their own style. They are also strongly committed to their goals and self-initiated efforts.

Focus of Attention

Intrapreneurs focus their attention of technology and the market while entrepreneurs are more concerned about beating their competition and increasing sales.

Are You Considering Becoming an Intrapreneur?

Intraprenurship is appealing to many people because of the rewards it presents. As an Intrapreneur, you can gain visibility, power, money, connections, learning opportunities and a chance to create something new without having to take as much risk as an entrepreneur.

 Becoming a successful Intrapreneur can significantly raise your value in the eyes of your employers. This means you will receive a high salary, leverage and numerous benefits and perks.

However, before you choose this path, you need to answer a few questions to help you determine if it’s the right path for you. Here are the questions you need to answer.

  • Is job security important to me?
  • How risk tolerant am I?
  • Would it be better for me to navigate an already established culture or should I create my own?
  • Am I scared or exited by the responsibilities of running my own business?
  • Would I rather have the freedom of managing my own business or would I rather enjoy the resources and support of a large company?

What are your views on intraprenurship? Feel free to share with us in the comments section below.

Stay Awesome Stay Tuned

Your Personal Branding Coach

Hannah Muchuki Githuki

Insideout Development Ltd

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