Though the terms “Entrepreneur” and “Intrapreneur” have existed and been part of the corporate business world for decades, there is still a lot of confusion about how one relates to another. While the two terms are dissimilar, there are resemblances and advantages to both styles in practice.
In its simplest form, most people believe intrapreneurs are internal entrepreneurs who behave in the same ways, have same stimuli, and respond in similar fashion. They couldn’t be further away from reality! Let’s try to break down the differences and similarities.
While both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs share entrepreneurial DNA and have a very deep passion for innovation, they are very different in the sense that they require different set of skill sets to be successful in their respective environments as depicted in the following diagram.
While there isn’t a holy grail achieve entrepreneurial & intrapreneurial greatness, the following qualities are expected for success:
Key Questions to ask yourself if you are in a dilemma which route/role to choose:
- Can my innovative ideas be implemented internally or do I look out?
- Would I work under the framework of a large company with its available resources or start on my own from scratch?
- Is job security very important to me?
- What’s my appetite for risk?
- Do I get excited or intimidated by the thought of managing my own business?
- Can I navigate through the existing culture of the company, or would I want to create my own?
Intrapreneurs get as much of the rewards as entrepreneurs i.e., visibility, power, money, growth opportunities, networks, and most importantly, the opportunity to create something new — without much of the risk – financial bankruptcy, major failure, etc.
Having said that, Entrepreneurship is for anyone who holds the zeal and tenacity to peruse his/her dreams fearlessly. However, it is completely a personal decision if one wishes to play under a pre-built structure/framework or create a roof of their own (and the house as well). Figure out which category you fall into and rock your game!
IF YOU ARE AN ASPIRING INTRAPRENEUR OR ENTREPRENEUR, YOU MAY WANT TO CHECK OUT THIS: