What is Corporate Entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship in the corporate

Also known as intrapreneurship, through corporate entrepreneurship, large companies can leverage the behavior of a startup by giving its members the freedom to create new business ideas that can use to innovate and thrive the company.

In this article, I will use intrapreneurship and Corporate entrepreneurship as synonyms.

What does intrapreneurship meaning is? How can your business adopt it? Let’s see 

Definition of intrapreneurship

Corporate entrepreneurship is creating a new business in an existing organization.

Intrapreneurship happens inside organizations that allow to their employees to think and create new business ideas.

The company members are supported to behave and think like entrepreneurs inside the structure of their existing organization.

Internal innovation will emerge when a business encourages employees to be creative within the company.

The benefits of corporate entrepreneurship culture

Supporting intrapreneurship could result in new business opportunities, new products, and new sources of income for the company.

Intrapreneurship is important because allows the company to innovate and grow their markets. The main benefits are:

  • Growth: For both, the company and their employees
  • Increase the employee morale
  • Advantage against other companies in the industry
  • Increase the employee’s productivity
  • Increase the retention of employees (the best employees prefer to work for an innovative company)

This culture allows employees with an entrepreneurial mindset to innovate with the company’s resources. 

Examples of Internal entrepreneurship – what is corporate entrepreneurship example?

Some specific examples of Intra-organizational entrepreneurship in big companies are Google, Apple, 3M, IBM, Motorola, P&G, and Xerox.

These companies give incentives to their employees to innovate. 

For example, on Google, the employees can use 20% of their time to promote new ideas, create teams and make prototypes.

As in this example, a lot of companies do similar things. 

Who are corporate entrepreneurs?

Corporate entrepreneurs are individuals within a larger organization who exhibit entrepreneurial qualities and behaviors while working to create new products, services, or processes within the company.

Also known as intrapreneurs, these individuals possess an entrepreneurial mindset and drive, taking initiative, and demonstrating innovative thinking within the corporate environment.

They play a crucial role in fostering innovation and driving growth in established companies. Helping these organizations stay competitive in the ever-changing business dynamic by introducing new ideas, products, and strategies while leveraging the resources and capabilities of the company they work for.

Characteristics of corporate entrepreneurs 

Some characteristics that corporate entrepreneurs have:

  • Initiative: They are proactive and take the initiative to identify opportunities for growth and improvement within the organization.
  • Risk-taking: They are willing to take calculated risks and explore new ideas, even if they involve uncertainty or potential failure.
  • Innovation: They embrace innovation and think creatively to develop new products, services, or processes that can benefit the company.
  • Resourcefulness: They are adept at finding and utilizing resources within the organization to support their entrepreneurial endeavors.
  • Adaptability: They are flexible and adaptable to change, as they often need to navigate through organizational structures and processes to bring their ideas to fruition.
  • Leadership: They demonstrate leadership qualities by inspiring and influencing others, rallying support for their ideas, and driving change within the organization.
  • Persistence: They are resilient and persistent in pursuing their goals, even when faced with challenges or setbacks.

Four Models of Corporate Innovation 

The Opportunist

There is no specific organization or process for entrepreneurs within the company. The projects emerge from the company culture and decentralized networks outside the official hierarchy.

The Enabler

In this model, the company gives resources and funding to the entrepreneur for potential projects. The organization has resources dedicated to corporate entrepreneurs and helps them to manage their initiatives.

The Advocate

The advocate Model assigns organizational ownership for driving the creation of new businesses to a designated corporate-level group. This model provides a strong champion for internal entrepreneurship, but it can be difficult to get business units to commit to new business developments if they are not directly involved

The Producer

Provides dedicated resources and a clear path for entrepreneurs to get their ideas approved and funded. It also protects emerging projects from turf battles and encourages cross-unit collaboration

How to Make Successful Intrapreneurship

The 3 key elements of successful Corporate startup initiatives are Decentralized structure, Open communication, and Accessible risk-taking.

Decentralized structure

Lines of reporting make slower the decision-making needed in the entrepreneur world. Flat the management structure.

By making as small as possible the number of management levels, you will help the company to have more flexibility and ideas from the employees.

Open communication

Open communication between the different areas will enable collaboration within the business and help increase innovation and idea generation.

Accessible risk-taking

Risk-taking opportunities should exist inside the company. This will help to encourage the employees to innovate and create new products.


FAQs about Corporate Entrepreneurship

Is corporate entrepreneurship an oxymoron?

No, corporate entrepreneurship is not an oxymoron. While the terms “corporate” and “entrepreneurship” may seem contradictory at first glance, they can coexist and even complement each other in the business world.

The term refers to the entrepreneurial activities and mindset exhibited within established organizations, where innovation, risk-taking, and growth-oriented approaches are embraced to drive success and adapt to changing business environments.

What is the main difference between innovation and intrapreneurship?

The main difference between innovation and intrapreneurship lies in their scope and focus.

Innovation refers to the creation and implementation of new ideas, processes, products, or services that bring value to an organization. Intrapreneurship is specifically related to entrepreneurial activities and behaviors exhibited by individuals or teams within an established organization

Does the corporate world promote entrepreneurship?

The promotion of entrepreneurship within the corporate world varies across organizations. While some companies actively promote and support entrepreneurship, others may not prioritize it as much.

Is the corporate world the opposite to entrepreneurship?

No, the corporate world is not necessarily the opposite to entrepreneurship. While there are differences between the two, they can coexist and even complement each other.

How to transition from a corporate job to entrepreneurship?

The transition from a corporate job to entrepreneurship could be difficult. One good way to do it is to start with a side project as a solopreneur. And then, when your solo business is growing, quit your job and focus on growing your company.


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