When we think of entrepreneurship what pops to mind are women like Oprah Winfrey, Jo Malone, Anita Roddick that have built their business’s from the bottom up, from the scratch.
However, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and like to align and immerse yourself in the common vision and mission of an organisation, could you be an intrapreneur? Gifford Pinchot III and Elizabeth Pinchot coined the phrase intrapreneur and brought to the public domain in their 1978 academic paper. They defined intrapreneurship as: "dreamers who do." "Intrapreneurs are employees who do for corporate innovation what an entrepreneur does for his or her start-up” (2018)
MIT Sloan Professor Cusumano, an expert in strategy, product development and entrepreneurship has taken it one step further and argues that: “Unlike entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs work with an existing company’s resources. They’re not building something entirely from scratch, nor are they risking their own money. They’re creating something that hasn’t been done before or done quite the same way,” (2018).
Although it is not a word that is commonly used in the business and media vernacular, the Sheryl Sandberg, Karren Brady and Bozoma Saint John’s of this world are exactly that. Unicorn women who work as employees in an organisation and are tasked with growing the business in some shape or form.
The benefits of working as an intrapreneur is that you are freed up from 'working in the business': [the day-to-day admin and sales and marketing of your services (unless that is your job) that entrepreneur’s are trying to balance with delivering their goods and services] and can concentrate on ‘working on the business' e.g. developing and implementing the strategy with resources that you may not have as an entrepreneur, particularly in the early stages e.g. a team, budget, systems, suppliers and more.
So, if you are an innovative woman that needs a home for your entrepreneurial skills and spirit, but your are at a life-stage and/or temperament that does not permit you the time or resources to start your own business; and/or you want to be part of something bigger than you that reflects your values and the impact you want to have, never fear intrapreneurship is here.
Want to know more?
Thinking about becoming an intrapreneur? Road test if its for you with ‘30 books every intrapreneur should read in 2022’ by *Intrapreneurship Nation* here
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