Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are both ways of creating value and innovation within a business or organisation. However, there are some key differences between the two concepts that are worth considering.

Key Differences

Scope

Entrepreneurship refers to the process of starting and running a business, while intrapreneurship refers to the process of innovating and taking on entrepreneurial activities within an existing organisation. This means that entrepreneurs are responsible for all aspects of their business, from idea generation to implementation, while intrapreneurs operate within the existing infrastructure and resources of their organisation.

Risk

Entrepreneurship typically involves higher levels of risk, as the entrepreneur is starting a new business from scratch and is responsible for all aspects of the business. This means that entrepreneurs must be willing to take on significant financial and personal risks in order to succeed. Intrapreneurship, on the other hand, involves lower levels of risk, as the intrapreneur is working within the existing hierarchy and decision-making structure of the organisation. This means that intrapreneurs do not have to worry about starting a business from scratch and can focus on innovation and value creation within the context of their organisation.

Authority

Another key difference between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship is the level of authority and autonomy involved. Entrepreneurs are the owners and decision-makers of their own businesses, while intrapreneurs operate within the existing hierarchy and decision-making structure of the organisation. This means that entrepreneurs have more control over their businesses and can make independent decisions, while intrapreneurs must work within the constraints of the organisation.

Motivation

Motivation is another key difference between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. Entrepreneurs are often motivated by the desire to create something new and innovative, and to be their own boss. They are driven by the potential rewards and opportunities that come with building and running their own business. Intrapreneurs may be motivated by the desire to create change and innovation within the organisation, and to make a positive impact on the company’s bottom line. They may be motivated by the opportunity to learn and grow within their organisation, and to have a sense of purpose and meaning in their work.

Rewards

Another key difference between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship is the types of rewards that are available. Entrepreneurs often reap the rewards of their efforts in the form of profits and ownership of the business. They have the potential to earn significant financial rewards if their business is successful, and they have the ability to sell or pass on their business to future generations. Intrapreneurs may receive rewards such as promotions, recognition, and financial incentives, but they do not have ownership of the business. They must work within the existing reward structures of the organisation, and their rewards are often tied to their performance within the organisation.

Resources / Support

Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship also differ in terms of the resources and support that are available. Entrepreneurs must often rely on their own resources and networks to start and run their businesses, and may have to seek out external sources of funding and support. Intrapreneurs, on the other hand, have access to the resources and support of the organisation they work for. This can include funding, expertise, infrastructure, and networks that may not be available to entrepreneurs.

Summary

In summary, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are both ways of creating value and innovation within a business or organisation. However, entrepreneurship involves starting and running a business, while intrapreneurship involves innovating and taking on entrepreneurial activities within an existing organisation. Entrepreneurship typically involves higher levels of risk and greater rewards, while intrapreneurship involves lower levels of risk and different types of rewards. Entrepreneurs have more control and autonomy over their businesses, while intrapreneurs must work within the existing hierarchy and decision-making structure of the organisation. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs may also be motivated by different factors and have access to different types of resources and support.

Whether you wish to follow the entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship route, you still require effective leadership skills.


This content can be used as part of the Strategic Business Leader (SBL) module for the Association of Chartered & Certified Accountants (ACCA) examination.
Click here to read more tips & content covered in the Strategic Business Leader module.
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