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An intrapreneur is an employee who is tasked with developing an innovative idea or project within a company. The intrapreneur may not face the outsized risks or reap the outsized rewards of an entrepreneur; however, the intrapreneur has access to the resources and capabilities of an established company.
An intrapreneur works inside a company to develop an innovative idea or project that will enhance the company’s future.
The term “intrapreneur” is a portmanteau of the two words “internal” and “entrepreneur.” It was first coined by Gifford Pinchot III and Elizabeth S. Pinchot in a 1978 white paper.
The intrapreneur is generally given autonomy to work on a project that may have a considerable impact on the company.
Over time, an intrapreneur may turn into an entrepreneur and start their own venture outside of the established organization.
Intrapreneurs are typically highly motivated individuals who have specific skill sets—as well as leadership abilities and an innovative vision that others in the corporation can get behind.
Intrapreneurs are employees of a company who are assigned to work on a special idea or project. They are given the time and freedom to develop the project as an entrepreneur would.
However, they are not working solo. Intrapreneurs have the resources and capabilities of the firm at their disposal.
An entrepreneur starts a company as a means of providing a good or service. An intrapreneur seeks to improve an existing company.
Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs have different objectives. An entrepreneur envisions creating a company from the ground up. An intrapreneur has a broader vision for an established company. This vision may involve radical changes to company traditions, processes, or products. The intrapreneur typically has direct applicable skills and experience to bring to the job.
The term “intrapreneur” is a portmanteau of the two words “internal” (or the prefix “intra” to mean internal) and “entrepreneur.” It was first coined by the couple Gifford Pinchot III and Elizabeth S. Pinchot in a 1978 white paper titled “Intra-Corporate Entrepreneurship” for the Tarrytown School for Entrepreneurs. After this white paper was released, the term began to gain traction in various academic studies. In February 1985, Time magazine had an article “Here Come the Intrapreneurs” which popularized the term even further.
An entrepreneur starts a company as a means of providing a good or service. An intrapreneur explores policies, technologies, or applications that will help improve the performance of an existing company. Inevitably, as an intrapreneur develops the skills needed to recognize and solve important problems, that intrapreneur may turn into an entrepreneur.