What is an Intrapreneur?

We've all heard about entrepreneurs. Those risk-takers who start their own business infuse it with their unique vision and drive it towards success. A less familiar but equally impactful concept is that of the 'intrapreneur.' An intrapreneur is an employee within a company who applies entrepreneurial skills and mindset - such as creativity, initiative, and willingness to take risks - to their role. Their objective is to develop innovative ideas and solutions that contribute to the organization's growth and efficiency. Unlike entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs operate within the safety net of an existing company, leveraging the established resources and infrastructure to bring their innovative ideas to fruition.

How does intrapreneurship work?

Intrapreneurship empowers employees to take risks, test new ideas, and drive innovation within their existing roles. This approach is advantageous as it can lead to accelerated business growth, improved problem-solving, and increased employee engagement and satisfaction. Companies encouraging intrapreneurship provide resources, mentoring, and institutional support to nurture these internal entrepreneurs. In return, they benefit from the ground-breaking products, services, or processes the intrapreneurs develop.

Promoting an intrapreneurial culture within an organization can lead to having a highly motivated and productivity-focused workforce committed to achieving business goals. They can foster an innovative mindset throughout the organization, greatly benefiting the company's adaptability in an ever-evolving technological landscape.

Intrapreneurship in the Tech Industry

Tech giants like Google and 3M have successfully integrated intrapreneurship within their organizations. Google's "20% time" policy, where employees dedicate 20% of their work time to pursue special projects of their choice, created highly successful products like Gmail and Google News. Likewise, at 3M, the developer of Post-it Notes was an 'intrapreneur' who transformed a failed adhesive experiment into a global stationary phenomenon.

In the software engineering and tech industry, fostering intrapreneurship can create innovative software solutions, business models, and efficiency-enhancing techniques. By constantly encouraging software engineers to be intrapreneurs, businesses can remain at the cutting edge, ensuring their relevance and competitiveness in an industry that inevitably thrives on constant innovation.


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