The two terms – entrepreneur and intrapreneur are often confusing. Sometimes, people erroneously use them interchangeably. However, you will learn some of the differences between Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs in this article.
An entrepreneur is the founder of a business. They design, launch, and manage a new business with the aim of solving problems and making profits.
An entrepreneur constantly identifies opportunities, comes up with new product ideas, techniques, and makes an effort to make them a reality.
However, an intrapreneur is neither a founder of a business nor a risk-taker. They are an employee who’s under the organization’s payroll. Basically, an intrapreneur promotes innovation that will contribute to the growth of a company.
However, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs have one thing in common – they both lead creativity and innovation within the organization.
Of course, an entrepreneur is the company’s founder, but they need the service of an intrapreneur to develop new ideas and products for the company.
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So, here are some of the differences between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs;
#1. Roles and Core Functions
The first area of difference between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs is their roles and core functions. Entrepreneurs are founders who started their businesses based on their innovative ideas.
Most times, entrepreneurs start their business small and grow it to become a global brand. Being the founder, an entrepreneur takes most of the risks associated with starting the business. They also enjoy the reward that comes with it.
However, intrapreneurs are high-ranking employees authorized to innovate and create within a company. At all times, an intrapreneur is saddled with the responsibility of innovating the company’s products, services, systems, processes, workflow, etc.
#2. Personal Traits
Personal traits are also an area of difference between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs. Every entrepreneur has the freedom to work and handle several other things at a time.
Entrepreneurs don’t have barriers in their imagination; they can think beyond any limit. Most times, they are laser-focused on their business while constantly searching for new opportunities.
And as entrepreneurs scout for new opportunities in their niche, they also learn more about their competitors and what they are doing differently.
However, intrapreneurs don’t have the freedom like entrepreneurs. Since they are under the payroll of the company, whatever they create and innovate is subject to approval.
Unlike entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs tend to be more organized and always look at areas that require improvement within the organization. However, intrapreneurs need to be dynamic. Otherwise, they can’t come up with innovations that will drive business growth.
Generally, the entrepreneurial journey isn’t an easy one. It requires a high level of commitment, consistency, and perseverance.
It requires a high-level motivation to surmount the challenges that come with it. And when things get tough, most entrepreneurs are motivated by risk-taking, their accomplishments, creativity, and control.
However, intrapreneurs are motivated by professionalism and leadership. Of course, they are also motivated by the additional perquisites and incentives attached to their roles.
Again, regular salary increases can also motivate intrapreneurs to be at their best. So, their motivation is completely different from that of entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs don’t depend on anybody except their business’s operation. Since they are the boss, they make all the decisions themselves. So, they are independent to an extent, unless they have investors.
But that’s not the case for intrapreneurs. They depend on entrepreneurs and operate within the company’s guidelines. They can’t work contrary to the entrepreneurs’ directive. Otherwise, they may lose their job.
#5. Core Aim
The core aim of entrepreneurs is different from that of intrapreneurs. For instance, entrepreneurs strive to innovate their products, services, and projects with social and economic policy.
However, the core aim of intrapreneurs is to improve the competitive strengths of the organization they are working for. With this, it’s easier to make the market for the organizations’ products and services sustainable.
One of the differences between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs is risk-taking. While they both take risks, entrepreneurs take the highest risk.
Nobody else bears a business loss or failure with entrepreneurs. Whenever the business incurs a loss, they take responsibility for the loss.
However, intrapreneurs on the other hand, take less risk. Even if the business fails, intrapreneurs have nothing to lose except their jobs.
#7. Entrepreneurs are Intuitive and Intrapreneurs are Restorative
Generally, entrepreneurs are intuitive in nature. Whatever decision they are taking, they listen to their intuition and inner gut.
Being intuitive helps entrepreneurs provide answers to difficult questions like;
How can I get the perfect partner for my startup?
How do I hire the best talent?
Should I fire someone based on what they have done?
Ordinarily, it’s difficult to answer these questions. But when entrepreneurs listen to their inner voice or intuition, it’s easier for them to take risks and make important business decisions.
Intrapreneurs on the other hand are restorative. Their job is to restore innovation and prevent stagnation in an organization. And this helps to overcome or eliminate a corporate culture that resists change and avoids risks.
Resources are also one of the differences between intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs. It’s the responsibility of the entrepreneurs to provide the needed resources to run their business. Even though investors invest in the business, the entrepreneurs still manage it.
However, intrapreneurs don’t contribute any resources. Instead, they effectively utilize the available resources for the smooth running of your business.
These are the differences between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. The two terms are different; while the former is the business founder, the latter is the employee of that business.