Q&A: What’s the Difference Between an Intrapreneur and an Entrepreneur?
Short Answer: Not much.
Longer Answer: Intrapreneurs have all the qualities of an entrepreneur—ambition, passion, creativity, persistence—with the main difference being that an intrapreneur chooses to employ their skills in service to an established company while entrepreneurs prefer to start their own businesses.
Longest Answer: In today’s society, there’s a push among certain young, ambitious people to become an entrepreneur, to “be your own boss,” and there is a certain derision cast upon people who’d rather work in a more stable environment.
While intrapreneurs don’t necessary get the big-name recognition that we associate with famous entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Elon Musk, their role is just as important.
Sure, you may not be able to come up with a list of famous intrapreneurs, but you sure as heck know who the top performers in your own company are. They’re the visionaries: the ones who push for radical innovation and ignore the old mantra of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” They don’t settle for status quo.
So, if you ask what makes a great intrapreneur, my answer is basically the same for the question of what makes a great entrepreneur: self-awareness, intuitive business savvy, ability to self-motivate, tenacity, and the ability to inspire others.
They also have some skills that might not be as common among entrepreneurs, like the ability to navigate complex corporate structures and bureaucracy.
We—the entrepreneurs and the intrapreneurs—are in it together, and we might even learn something from one another if we stop letting dumb labels and distinctions divide us.