Some people use the words Intrapreneur and entrepreneur interchangeably not knowing that they refer to different people. An intrapreneur is an insider to a company who applies unique skills, forward thinking, and entrepreneurial vision to their position within the enterprise they work for. An entrepreneur on the hand is an individual who tries to solve problems using feasible solutions. While some may argue that both provide solutions, it is worth noting that an intrapreneur works within a given framework or organization. The following are the major differences between the two.
Entrepreneurs are the largest risk takers who commit their time and resources to a venture. Such a person takes responsibility for all the risks and activities of the business without fear. The intrapreneur also takes risks, but he\she does not stake his financial resources. If the business idea goes wrong, it is the investors that feel the financial blow and not the entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs should also take out business insurance cover to protect their employees, customers, and property. If a misfortune occurs, the intrapreneur can switch jobs while the entrepreneur suffers the losses alone.
What motivates an entrepreneur to work hard is totally different from an intrapreneur. Personal achievement, making a difference and following childhood dreams are just a few examples of what motivates an entrepreneur. On the hand, intrapreneurs love lifting others on their way, have a dream of financial stability, and mostly focus on success. Such people are disruptors and like working in an innovative environment. Intrapreneurs come up with ideas in line with the organizational culture drafted by the entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs are the owners of the business ventures while Intrapreneurs are employees. Entrepreneurs can solely make critical decisions that affect the business structure while intrapreneurs need to collaborate with team members and the board for approval. Entrepreneurs carry all the burdens from the decisions that employees make on a daily basis. The organization also gets all the credit for ideas that intrapreneurs generate. Entrepreneurs own their concepts and can patent them under their names.
An entrepreneur can hire or fire different people in departments such as marketing, R & D, engineering, sales and customer care as long as it is consistent with labor laws. The intrapreneur is an employee and thus has to convince the board to hire an assistant in his\her projects. Even though the intrapreneur has the freedom to come up with ideas, it is the board that prioritizes such projects and allocates the necessary funds.
Some of the similarities between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs include innovativeness, persistence, and flexibility. Intrapreneurs have the ability to respond to business dynamics and trends and are thus changing how people conduct business in the modern world.