Intrapreneur vs Entrepreneur - What are the Differences?

Entrepreneur and intrapreneur are two concepts that are frequently discussed in the business world.

While both involve innovation and the development of new ideas, they differ significantly in terms of their execution and scope.

Entrepreneurs typically involve starting one's own business, often based on a unique or innovative business idea.

On the other hand,

Intrapreneurs develop new ideas and products within an existing company.

Successful intrapreneurs are those who are able to apply their entrepreneurial skills to generate new ideas and concepts that drive the growth of the company.

For those who want to start their own business, entrepreneurship offers the opportunity to be their own boss and take control of their own destiny. Starting a new business from scratch involves a great deal of hard work, determination, and financial risk.

It requires the ability to develop a business plan, secure funding, and assemble a talented team of employees.

Entrepreneurs must also have excellent communication skills, as they will need to sell their business idea to potential investors and customers. While starting one's own business can be challenging, it can also be incredibly rewarding for those who succeed.

In contrast,

Those who work within an established company as intrapreneurs have the benefit of the resources and support of an existing organization.

Intrapreneurs can develop new ideas and products that align with the company's overall strategy, often with the support and backing of the leadership team.

They may also have access to the company's financial resources and talent pool, making it easier to bring their ideas to fruition. However, intrapreneurs still need to be entrepreneurial in their approach, as they must be able to identify new opportunities and take calculated risks to achieve success.

Who is an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs start and run a new business venture in order to make a profit. It involves using entrepreneurial skills to create and implement a business plan, with the ultimate aim of establishing and running your own company.

Successful entrepreneurs possess a range of qualities, including leadership skills, strategic thinking, creativity, and risk-taking. They are driven by the desire to turn their entrepreneurial aims into reality and are willing to invest significant time and effort into developing and executing a business plan.

When starting a new business, having a well-developed business plan is essential. This document outlines the key details of the startup company, including its target market, financial projections, and growth strategies.

Entrepreneurs who possess strong leadership skills are better equipped to lead their teams through the challenges of the startup phase, motivating employees and instilling a strong sense of company culture.

Effective communication skills are also crucial, as entrepreneurs need to be able to clearly articulate their vision and goals to employees, investors, and other stakeholders.

Despite the potential rewards of entrepreneurship, starting a new business involves significant financial risk.

Entrepreneurs must be willing to invest their own resources into the venture and accept the possibility of failure.

However, successful entrepreneurs are able to use their entrepreneurial spirit and leadership skills to navigate these challenges, adapting their business plans and strategies as needed to ensure the long-term success of the company.

While entrepreneurship typically involves starting a new business, intrapreneurship refers to the application of entrepreneurial skills within an existing company.

Intrapreneurs are employees who take on the role of internal innovators, developing and implementing new ideas and concepts within the context of an established company. Like entrepreneurs, successful intrapreneurs possess strong leadership skills and a well-developed business concept and are able to navigate the company's resources and culture in order to achieve their aims.

Overall, the key differences between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship lie in the level of financial risk and the degree of autonomy involved.

Entrepreneurs are responsible for financing their own risks and resources and have complete control over the direction of their own companies.

In contrast, intrapreneurs work within the existing structure of an established company and are accountable to the company's leadership team.

However, both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs require strong entrepreneurial and leadership skills in order to succeed in their respective roles.

Who is an Intrapreneur?

Intrapreneurs are individuals who apply their entrepreneurial skills and mindset to innovate and create new opportunities within an established company. Internal innovation is a critical element for even the best strategies of a company, and intrapreneurs can provide this by thinking outside of the box and generating new ideas.

While entrepreneurs aim to create their own businesses and ventures, intrapreneurs work within an existing company and strive to improve and enhance it.

Intrapreneurs share many traits and skills with entrepreneurs, such as leadership skills, calculated risks, and business goals. They are also willing to take on challenges and use their creativity to solve problems.

However, intrapreneurs differ from entrepreneurs in that they do not own the company they work for. Intrapreneurs are part of the leadership team and have the resources and support of the company to bring their ideas to fruition.

Successful intrapreneurs often have a similar career path as entrepreneurs.

They start as employees within a company and then take on more significant roles and responsibilities. Eventually, they pitch their ideas to the leadership team, and if approved, they can lead their projects and hire employees, potential customers, and receive positive feedback from the company.

Some examples of successful intrapreneurs and their contributions include Mark Parker, who transformed Nike into a tech company by incorporating innovative materials and technologies into their products.

Another example is Sheryl Sandberg, who brought new ideas to Facebook, such as the company's advertising strategies and the creation of Facebook Groups.

These successful intrapreneurs were able to apply their entrepreneurial skills and mindset to their roles within their companies and create a successful venture while benefiting their employers.

In conclusion, both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs play a crucial role in the growth and development of new businesses and established companies.

While entrepreneurs aim to create their own companies and take on their risks and resources, intrapreneurs apply their entrepreneurial spirit and effective leadership skills to internal innovation within existing companies.

By understanding the key differences between these two roles, individuals can choose the career path that aligns with their goals and strengths.

Key Differences between Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs share many similarities in their approach to business. Both are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and possess the skills to develop successful products and businesses.

But wait!!

There are also several key differences between the two.

One major difference is that entrepreneurs typically start a new venture and hire employees, while intrapreneurs develop new products within an existing organization.

Let's take an example,

Steve Jobs was an entrepreneur who co-founded Apple, while Jonathan Ive was an intrapreneur who developed many successful products for the company.

Another difference is that entrepreneurs face a higher level of risk and financial investment, as they are starting from scratch with little to no resources. In contrast, intrapreneurs have the support of an existing organization and its resources.

Company culture is also a critical element that differs between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Entrepreneurs have the freedom to establish their own company culture, whereas intrapreneurs must adapt to the culture of their existing organization.

Competitive advantage and market trends are also important factors to consider.

Entrepreneurs need to identify gaps in the market and create products that will give them a competitive advantage, while intrapreneurs focus on developing products that align with the existing company's goals and strategies.

Innovation and idea development are also critical to both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Many entrepreneurs create "idea labs" where they regularly develop new ideas and foster innovation. Intrapreneurs, on the other hand, focus on developing ideas within an existing organization and are often not given complete credit for their contributions.

To sum it up.

Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs share many skills and approaches to business, but there are also significant differences between the two.

Ultimately, the choice between being an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur will depend on one's career path and goals, as well as the resources and strategies available for developing a successful product or business.

Intrapreneur and Entrepreneur Similarities

Whether you're aiming to become the next big entrepreneur or you're striving to be an intrapreneur within an existing company, you're in for an exhilarating journey. Believe it or not, these two paths are not as different as you might think. In fact, they share a lot more common ground than you'd expect.

Risk-Taking is Their Second Nature
Yes, both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are risk-takers. We're not talking about reckless gambling here. This is about calculated risks, underpinned by thorough research and sound judgment. A study by Harvard Business Review indicates that both groups are 18% more likely to take calculated risks compared to their more traditional counterparts.

Innovation is Their Lifeblood
Be it an entrepreneur starting a new tech firm or an intrapreneur developing a groundbreaking product within a Fortune 500 company, innovation is their oxygen. According to McKinsey & Company, 84% of executives agree that innovation is vital to their growth strategy. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are the masterminds who make this happen.

They Are Obsessed with Solving Problems
You know what makes you stand out? The ability to see a problem as an opportunity, not a setback. You bet both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs excel at this. A survey by PwC revealed that 98% of successful projects are led by individuals who prioritize problem-solving over other skills. That's almost everyone, guys!

Flexibility Isn't Just an Asset; It's a Requirement
The marketplace is a battlefield, constantly changing. Stiffness? That's your fastest route to failure. Whether launching a startup or leading a new project within an established company, flexibility is non-negotiable. It's so important that 92% of company CEOs mentioned adaptability as the key attribute they look for in their team, as per a Forbes study.

They Are Relentlessly Resourceful
Ever heard the saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention"? Well, it's true. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs don't always have all the resources they need, but they make the most of what they have. Case in point: according to Entrepreneur Magazine, 58% of startups are initiated with personal savings. If that's not resourcefulness, what is?

Which Path is Right for You?

When considering a career in business, it's important to understand the differences between being an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur.

There are many famous examples of entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses, including Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple Inc. and transformed the technology industry with innovative products such as the iPhone and iPad.

On the other hand, there are also examples of intrapreneurs who have made significant contributions to their companies through the use of artificial intelligence, such as Andrew Ng, former Vice President and Chief Scientist at Baidu.

To be successful in either path, there are essential traits that are needed, including forward-thinking, risk-taking, and a willingness to embrace change.

One of the major differences between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs is the level of freedom they have to implement their ideas.

Entrepreneurs have complete freedom to develop and execute their vision for a business, while intrapreneurs work within a company and must navigate the existing structure and policies.

This means that entrepreneurs take on greater risk and financial investment, but they also have the potential to reap greater rewards. In contrast, intrapreneurs may have more stability and resources at their disposal, but they also have to work within the confines of an existing organization.

Despite these differences, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs share many traits that are essential for success.

They both need to have a great idea that solves a problem or meets a need in the market. They also need to be forward-thinking and have a clear understanding of the business landscape and market trends.

Additionally, they both have the same goal of creating a successful product or service that generates revenue and makes a positive impact.

When deciding which path is right for you, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each.

As an entrepreneur, you have the potential for complete creative control and unlimited financial potential, but you also take on greater risk and responsibility. As an intrapreneur, you have the stability and resources of an established company, but you also have to work within the confines of the organization and may not have the same level of financial reward.

Ultimately, the decision between being an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur depends on your personal and professional goals.

Consider the skills and traits you need to develop for success in either path, such as communication skills, effective leadership skills, and the ability to take calculated risks. Both paths require dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn and adapt to new challenges.


In conclusion, the differences between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are vast, yet both have shared traits that lead to significant impact.

An entrepreneur takes on the risk and financial investment of starting a new business and developing a new idea, whereas an intrapreneur works within an existing organization to successfully bring new ideas and strategies that may encounter problems.

The entrepreneur vs intrapreneur debate ultimately comes down to personal and professional goals.

If you are looking for complete freedom and forward thinking in your career, becoming an entrepreneur may be the right path for you.

However, if you want to eventually develop a great idea within an existing organization and work towards the same goal as the company, becoming an intrapreneur could be the better option.

Choosing the right path for your career and business goals is essential, as both require different skills and approaches.

Aspiring entrepreneurs should focus on developing their entrepreneurial skills, such as leadership and risk-taking, while those interested in becoming intrapreneurs should cultivate their ability to navigate company culture and resources.

Ultimately, success as a business leader requires a combination of essential traits, including adaptability, resilience, and a willingness to take calculated risks. By cultivating these skills and traits, both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs can thrive in their respective roles and make a significant impact in their organizations and industries.

In this way, whether you choose to be an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur, it's essential to understand the differences between the two and weigh the pros and cons of each path.

With the right skills and mindset, you can succeed in either role and make a positive impact in the business world.

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