MEMORY VERSE: “And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” – Nehemiah 6:3
BIBLE PASSAGE: Genesis 30:25-3
There are many possible situations where a potential entrepreneur does not get a chance to establish or fund his or her own business and has to work in an established organisation. In this case he/she is referred to as an ‘Intrapreneur’ i.e. an entrepreneur within an organisation.
- DESCRIPTION OF AN INTRAPRENEUR
- CHARACTERISTICS AND BENEFITS OF INTRAPRENEURSHIP
1. DESCRIPTION OF AN INTRAPRENEUR
Intrapreneurs are usually employees within a company who are assigned to work on a special idea or project and they are instructed to develop the project like an entrepreneur would. Intrapreneurs usually have the resources and capabilities of the company at their disposal. An intrapreneur is an inside entrepreneur, or an entrepreneur within a large company who uses entrepreneurial skills without incurring the risk associated with those activities. They are also entrepreneurs because they do not share the typical “employer employee” relationship with their bosses. Instead, they operate just as collaborators and are treated as visionaries in the organisation.
A Christian intrapreneur is, therefore, a self-motivated, proactive, and action-oriented believer who takes the initiative to pursue an innovative product or service within an organisation manifesting the characters of Jesus Christ.
An entrepreneur differs from an intrapreneur in that an entrepreneur enters a venture through a start-up model of business and tries to establish it. This is done while taking risks of bringing together the factors of production to address a cause and making a profit out of it at the same time. An intrapreneur works within an existing organisation to pursue the exploitation of business opportunities, probably because the intrapreneur does not have the required business capital, infrastructure or clear direction.
2. CHARACTERISTICS AND BENEFITS OF INTRAPRENEURSHIP
Intrapreneurs are self-motivated, proactive and action-oriented people who take the initiative to pursue an innovative product or service. They are able to resolve specific issues such as increasing productivity or cutting costs. This requires a high level of skills namely leadership skills and thinking outside the box, directly applicable to the assignment. An intrapreneur also takes risks and drives innovation within a business to better serve the market through increased goods and services. A successful intrapreneur is comfortable being uncomfortable while testing his or her ideas until achieving the desired results. He or she is also able to interpret trends in the marketplace and visualise how the company needs to evolve to stay ahead of its competition. He or she conducts himself in a highly ethical manner putting his personal emotions aside and acts with objectivity by doing what is right. An intrapreneur recognises and encourages others for their involvement and contributions. Intrapreneurs are constant learners.
The benefits of being an intrapreneur are numerous to both the individual and the organisation. Intrapreneurship creates an entrepreneurial environment by allowing employees to use their entrepreneurial skills for the benefit of both the company and the employee. Intrapreneurs are tasked with using the company’s resources, while entrepreneurs use their own. It gives employees the freedom to experiment, as well as the potential for growth within an organisation. Intrapreneurships foster autonomy and independence, while attempting to find the best resolution. For example, an intrapreneur may require an employee to research and recommend a more efficient workflow chart to a company’s brand within a target group or implement a way to benefit company culture.
It is important for employers to recognise these employees. By not promoting intrapreneurship or recognising employees who demonstrate an intrapreneurial spirit can be detrimental to a brand or company. Employers who encourage intrapreneurship stand to benefit because it leads to the success of the department or the company as a whole. Keeping these employees can help lead to innovation and growth. Companies that do not promote them may lose intrapreneurs to other companies, or they may end up working for themselves.
CONCLUSION: Intrapreneurship is one step toward entrepreneurship. Intrapreneurs may use what they have learned as part of an organisation’s team to create their own company and reap the benefits of their hard work rather than letting another organisation profit from their ideas.