Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Are you an intrapreneur?

Are you an intrapreneur?

The term intrapreneur is becoming more mainstream these days as many larger companies are looking to leverage the skills and strengths Intrapreneurs have to offer. Rubbermaid, 3M, and HP are all known for fostering an intrapreneurial climate.

The term Intrapreneur was first coined in the late 1970s, by husband and wife team, Gifford and Elizabeth Pinchot, while undertaking studies at the School for Entrepreneurs in Tarrytown, New York. Originally coined Intra-corporate entrepreneur, the term Intrapreneur evolved throughout the 1980s, being added to the American Heritage Dictonary of the English Language (3rd Ed) in 1992.

An intrapreneur can be defined as:
"in-tra-pre-neur (In¹tre-pre-nur) n. A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation [intra(corporate) + (ENTRE)PRENEUR.] -inftrapre-nouri-al adj. -intra-pre-neuri-al-ism n. -in'trapre-neuri-al-ly adv. (American Hertigage Dictonary of The English Lanugage, 3rd Edition).

Intrpreneurs exhibit certain characteristics in the work place namely:
* Risk taking
* Innovation

Many writers liken intrapreneurs to the corporate world, as entrepreneurs to the small business sector.

These ideas have led to offshoots of intrapreneurs in a range of sectors - ecopreneurs who work for environmental sustainability through the introduction of green technology, intrapreneurs in the governmental sector and many others.

If you'd like more infromation on intrapreneuring, please visit Pinchot and Company and their site dedicated to Intrapreneuring.

What would it be like if your company adopted more of an intrapreneurial spirit? What would be possible?

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

1 comment:

Unknown said...


This is an excellent article on intrapreneurship. The possibilities [and profits] are endless for both staff and their company, when being an intrapreneur is fostered throughout an organization.

C.E. Reid
Savvy Intrapreneur