The Difference Between Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship

December 5, 2023
entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship

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Most people have heard of or are aware of the term “Entrepreneurship” or “Entrepreneur”. Did you know that there are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world? This may be because entrepreneurship is now recognized as a potential career.

Intrapreneurship is also a very similar concept. It refers to entrepreneurship but within an organization or a venture. Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are terms with a few similarities and a lot of differences.

Both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship involve passion and goal-oriented behaviour. But, the risks involved in both differ. The primary difference between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship is that the former is an independent process, while the latter depends upon the former and involves the influence of seniors and executives. While an entrepreneur aims to develop new projects, an intrapreneur looks for innovation it.

Like entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship is also a great option to make a career. If you are passionate, a problem-solver, and an innovator, then entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are ideal career options. But first, let us understand the key differences between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

What is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is developing an idea or concept and building up a business or enterprise around it. Moreover, it also involves investing the required funds and bearing the associated risks.

The entrepreneur is an individual who launches a business. They are risk-takers, dreamers, and people with an idea who are eager to launch a venture or a business. They do all or most of the following in a business:

  • Discover a business opportunity.
  • Invest the necessary funds.
  • Bear the risks and challenges that come down the road.
  • Decide what, how, and when to produce and sell.
  • Push the company towards growth and greater profits.

Types of Entrepreneur

Different people are different types of entrepreneurs. The following are the most common types of entrepreneurs:

1. Innovators

They develop a wholly new and innovative idea and build a profitable business. They are passionate and obsessive about their idea.

2. Hustlers

They are entrepreneurs who work harder than others to make their dreams come true. They think of a small idea at the start and make it big as time goes on.

3. Imitators

Imitators imitate the idea but bring an improvement to the original idea. They continue to work towards finding different ways of improvement. Imitators are confident in their approaches.

4. Researchers

They come up with an idea but dig deeper before initiating a business out of it. When they think of an idea, they gather all the available data and analyze all the aspects of it.

5. Buyers

Buyers are entrepreneurs who have money and look for potential businesses to invest in. Somebody else looks after and grows their business.

Also, read Entrepreneurship in India–Complete History, Evolution and Transformation.

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What Is Intrapreneurship?

Intrapreneurship involves coming up with a new and innovative idea. The idea is to improve an already existing company or the products/services provided to it. It also involves bearing the associated risk in the process.

Intrapreneurs are passionate and action-oriented individuals. They discover a new business opportunity and implement it for their companies. They do not invest funds or resources of their own. Instead, the company provides them with the same. Also, they only work towards initiating an idea and making it a success but bear the associated risks.

Types of Intrapreneur

There are different types of intrapreneurs types based on their process. The common types of intrapreneurs are:

1. Advocates

The Advocates play a problem-solving role in a customer-facing capacity. They outline the characteristics of the client and suggest the best options.

2. Creators

Creators are much like innovators. They develop the prototype solution and give a company idea life. Creators enjoy change and are quick learners. Also, they learn the best ways to do anything. Creators have broad thinking and like working in surroundings with fewer rules.

3. Change Maker

A change maker is an individual with a focus on attracting new business and investments for the organization. They frequently exhibit a strong sense of extrovert confidence and networking skills. They could be at any level of employment.

Difference Between Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship

Although both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are correlated, they have several differences. Let’s dive deep into the key differences between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur.





Entrepreneurs solely use their clarity and vision to identify the gaps in the market. They set their business’s goal after analyzing these gaps.

On the other hand, an intrapreneur has no sole right to use their discretion in setting a goal. The senior managers or executives of the company can easily influence them.

Access to Resources

Entrepreneurs have their own stream of resources and personal networks to progress their businesses.

Intrapreneurs get access to resources and insights available to the company they work in. This means that they will have to work with internal processes, stakeholders, and political dynamics.

Mitigated Risks

Although both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs bear risks almost every day, the risks for both differ. An entrepreneur puts his existing job and savings at stake to start a business from scratch.

Intrapreneur has a risk, any failed attempts in the assigned task may be detrimental to their professional reputation and career path. However, they will still get a salary and a chance to improve on the next project with the organization.

Safety Nets

For entrepreneurs, a single month of poor sales or a single unintentional wrong choice can bring their business to the verge of shutdown.

Intrapreneurs have safety nets from the companies they work in, and their companies have financial safety in case things do not go as planned.

Chances of Failure

According to statistics, 60% of entrepreneurs fail in their first five years of business. This is because entrepreneurs’ mistakes and wrong choices directly impact their businesses.

The decision and choices of intrapreneurs are not their sole responsibility. Therefore, it is a shared responsibility of the business and intrapreneurs.

Also, read: How is the need for Entrepreneurship is important for Economic Growth?

Bottomline- Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship

Now you must wonder if you should be an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur. After you are aware of the differences between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, becoming one of them has its pros and cons, depending on your skills.
One can be an entrepreneur if they are good at networking, problem-solver, has funds, are risk-taker, and has time to run a business. On the other hand, one can choose to be an intrapreneur if they have the skills that it takes to be an entrepreneur, love to create new products, and have ideas to run an existing company more efficiently. So, select what you want to be depending on your skills and situations. All the very best.

Dive deep into our Business section to read more articles and resources related to business and business tips and tricks.

Other Related Resources:
Importance of Entrepreneurship to the Economy of India
Top 10 Free and Paid Entrepreneurship Courses  
The Most Desirable Qualities of an Entrepreneur in 2022

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What are the similarities between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs?

Although there are differences between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, they have some qualities in common. Hence, the similarities between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are as follows:

1. Creative thinking
2. Problem-solving
3. The ability to recognize potential opportunities and take calculated risks
4. Vision to deal with and improve the pain points of your customers every day
5. The continuous efforts to achieve their vision

What is the best definition of entrepreneurship?

Every person has their definition of entrepreneurship. But here is the best definition of entrepreneurship- “It is a process of setting up a business from scratch with an individual’s (entrepreneur’s) idea and vision. In simple words, it means taking ideas into realization.” Entrepreneurship can also be defined as running your own business and managing and regulating it.

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