Being an innovative leader who is dedicated to making your companies grow and get ahead of the competitors may bring you to a question, “Are you an Intrapreneur or an Entrepreneur?”. This article will help you to clearly differentiate between these two terms and determine if you are or want to be an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur.
An entrepreneur and an intrapreneur are similar in a lot of ways. Both of these people are leaders with vision and a zeal to innovate. They create and lead a team of people who think of innovative ideas, study the market, create products, and look out for new strategies to grow.
Although they share a lot of common traits, the key difference is the setting in which they work. An entrepreneur is someone who owns and operates a company while an intrapreneur is someone who works as an employee and has the authority to create innovative products for a company. Hence, an entrepreneur assumes all the profits and losses of their company while an intrapreneur is given remuneration by the company for the work he does.
In essence, an entrepreneur is someone who builds a company from their ideas while an intrapreneur is someone who uses entrepreneurial skills to launch innovative products within the boundaries of a company.
There is often trade between freedom and risk between an entrepreneurial role and an intrapreneurial role. Hence, there always are some upsides and downsides of getting into one of these roles.
Let’s break down the major differences which separate an Intrapreneur from an Entrepreneur.
Creativity needs freedom. As an entrepreneur, you decide the company’s work culture, create a vision, set goals, and make impactful high-level decisions to achieve your goals. The entrepreneur has the freedom of making a company that he dreams of without being bound by anyone.
On the contrary, an Intrapreneur is bound by the authority given by the company they work in. You are given freedom but within a space, for leading a group of people and creating products within the company but have no control over the company’s work outside of the authority given to you.
2. High-risk High-reward
The “high-risk high-reward” principle is maintained in these roles.
An entrepreneur is prone to having a lot of problems and pressure when launching a business. Most entrepreneurs quit their day jobs, gamble their savings, and dedicate their full time to the business they are building. A daily paycheck is not guaranteed for an entrepreneur, especially if the company is in its early phases. They may have to work while not getting paid a penny.
So, an entrepreneur has a lot of things at stake when he opens a business. An entrepreneur has to take risks but gains the most from a company’s success while the intrapreneur may have done as much but gains lesser reward than the entrepreneur.
On the other hand, as an intrapreneur, you are free from all these problems. You don’t need to make as many sacrifices for the company. A daily paycheck is guaranteed which can be an appealing factor for someone to be an intrapreneur over an entrepreneur. You, as an intrapreneur will work for a company that pays you for the work you do. So, as long as you are doing your job, you are getting paid.
3. Gathering Resources
As an intrapreneur, you have an edge over an entrepreneur in regard to raising funds, getting mentorships, and other resources. The company often provides you with the capital you require for creating and launching the products. In a company, you have your seniors or other colleagues working in the same field who can mentor you.
The hiring process and building a team becomes a lot easier as the company will help you to do it. The company is there to provide you with any other resources you require which makes things a lot easier and gives you a head start to solve problems.
On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, you have to work from the base level. You are responsible for raising funds and convincing the investors. You also have to organize a team and collect other resources required for your company. You need to rely on your personal networks for this purpose. Therefore, having a good network is a must for any entrepreneur who wants to build a successful business.
As an entrepreneur, the decision-making power can be very appealing but it is a double-edged sword. You have to be very careful while making decisions. A single bad decision can be game over for you as an entrepreneur. You have the ability to make or break your business. There is no safety net to fall on. So, good decision-making power is essential for an entrepreneur to succeed.
An intrapreneur has more safety. Even though a good decision-making power is required to make a good intrapreneur, the decisions you make might not affect the company as much. Also, the company is there to provide you with a safety net in case your products/ideas fail and you are still getting paid!
In conclusion, when it comes to Intrapreneurs and Entrepreneurs, the key difference is in the settings they work in. What is important is that both of them are leaders focused on leading a team and solving problems. It really comes down to the person if they want to solve the problem by building their own company or by working under an existing company.