Intrapreneurship, also referred to as corporate entrepreneurship, is a process used to develop new and innovative businesses, processes, and products in an organization. This occurs by the organization promoting its employees to behave and think like entrepreneurs but within the confines of an already existing organizational structure. In other words, it is entrepreneurship inside an already established organization. Corporate entrepreneurship is definitely not everyone's cup of tea but it can be the right combination for some people, and so it could be useful to understand what it is, how it works, and how it compares to regular entrepreneurship.
While an intrapreneur must have some of the entrepreneurial skills that an entrepreneur would have, such as flexibility and passion (read about traits of an entrepreneur), there are some major differences between an intrapreneurial and an entrepreneurial journey. Knowing these differences can help you decide which path is the better fit for you. First and foremost, risk. Risk-taking is one of the biggest elements of entrepreneurship and yet, it is not as big of a consideration for an intrapreneur because most of the risk is taken on by the organization they are working in not by them personally. Another major difference is the degree of freedom that each is afforded. While an intrapreneur enjoys a certain degree of freedom as they usually have control over their own projects, entrepreneurs have complete control over the business that they build and the products they create. Another difference that might be obvious is that, as opposed to an entrepreneur, intrapreneurs do not need to raise capital as resources and capital are provided to them by the companies that they are working at. At the same time, while intrapreneurs will usually be provided with a high salary, any success born from their ideas and projects is mainly attributed to the company as a whole. The same cannot be said for the rewards or entrepreneurship.
Intrapreneurship or corporate entrepreneurship has been gaining momentum recently and has become more widely recognized as a solution to the threats facing large organizations as they are forced to find new ways to adapt to the increasing pressure and competition created by new smaller businesses. Thus, it's important to be aware of what intrapreneurship is and how it compares to entrepreneurship.