Entrepreneur vs Intrapreneur: Difference and Comparison

Although he generates new ideas for the company’s betterment, he has not taken risks or enjoyed the full reward. Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur are two different terms used in the corporate world to refer to individuals responsible for developing new business ideas and leading them to execution.

The terms have some similar qualities. Both of them entail innovative thinking and working for the execution of creative ideas and other behavioural skills like solid leadership, observation, collaborative thinking, networking and experimentation. Such striking similarities often overshadow the fundamental difference between them, which must be considered to distinguish an Entrepreneur from an Intrapreneur.

Key Takeaways

  1. Entrepreneurs start and manage their businesses, taking on financial risks to pursue profit; intrapreneurs are employees who apply entrepreneurial skills and mindset to drive innovation and growth.
  2. Entrepreneurs operate independently, creating and managing their ventures; intrapreneurs work within existing companies, developing new products, services, or business strategies.
  3. Both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs demonstrate creativity, initiative, and risk tolerance, but entrepreneurs establish and run their businesses, while intrapreneurs contribute to the success and innovation of their employers.

Entrepreneur vs Intrapreneur

The difference between an Entrepreneur and an Intrapreneur is that an Entrepreneur is the founder of an enterprise. He is free and takes most of the risks and rewards involved in the running of an organisation.  An Intrapreneur, on the other hand, is an employee of a particular enterprise and therefore bound by the rules and regulations of that enterprise.

Entrepreneur vs Intrapreneur

An Entrepreneur is an individual who sets up a new enterprise, absorbs the risks involved, and enjoys the rewards earned. He is the mind behind the success or failure of a new enterprise.


Business Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to business

1 / 10

Which of the following is not an economic activity?

2 / 10

The method of evaluating the efficiency of workers is termed as _________.

3 / 10

Productivity means how much was done compared to what it took to do it.

4 / 10

Who takes no active part in Business?

5 / 10

Working capital means _________.

6 / 10

The six Ps are collectively known as the Marketing Mix. They are ways in which organisations differentiate themselves. They include

7 / 10

Modular furniture __________.

8 / 10

Business-to-consumer (B2C) is also known as

9 / 10

Planning and control are _________ functions of an office.

10 / 10

The Standard of living is the number of goods and services people can buy with the money they have.

Your score is


On the other hand, an Intrapreneur is a member of the workforce employed in an enterprise. He is vested with the responsibility to bring about innovative ideas to enhance the company’s prospects.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonEntrepreneurIntrapreneur
DefinitionIt describes a person who establishes his own company and shoulders its risks and rewards.It refers to a person who works in a company and is responsible for carrying out innovations in products, operations and services and so on.
ObjectiveTo introduce something in the market that is new and of socio-economic value.To improve the performance and market sustainability of an established enterprise.
StatusFounder of a companyAn employee in an existing company
Nature of EnterpriseRecently established.Well-established (stable)
Source of CapitalAcquired by the Entrepreneur himself.Provided by the company in which he works.


Who is Entrepreneur?

It refers to a person who initiates a new business. He is responsible for innovating, leading, developing and driving that business.

The term’s origin can be traced back to the 13th-century French word entreprendre, which means ‘to do or undertake something ‘. By the 16th century, the term was used to describe a person who ventures into a new business.

The four resources necessary for production include land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship. Among these resources, the first three are utilised and combined by an entrepreneur to establish a successful enterprise.

The tasks performed by an entrepreneur can be listed as follows:

  1. Creating and developing an innovative plan for business.
  2. Verifying if such a plan is feasible or not.
  3. Taking appropriate steps to arrange and coordinate resources like land, machinery, capital and labour.
  4. Taking the risks that are necessary for making the business a success.
  5. Collecting and appropriating money for the execution of the business plan.
  6. Setting up a Startup company.
  7. And finally, taking decisions and responsibility for the prospective gains and losses earned by that company.

Some of the significant hurdles faced by Entrepreneurs while setting up a Startup company include the following:

  1. Gaining clearance from the bureaucracy.
  2. Searching for talented employees and building an efficient workforce.
  3. Collecting funds.

With their drive for innovative ideas and efficiency, Entrepreneurs act as a significant contributor to the growth of the national economy. They generate employment which further contributes to the development of the national economy.


Who is Intrapreneur?

An Intrapreneur is a member of the workforce responsible for developing new ideas and projects to improve the company’s future. He is an entrepreneur within the confines of an enterprise but may not take the vast risks or get the huge rewards entitled to an entrepreneur.

The term Intrapreneur is of very recent origin. Gifford Pinchot III first used it in a white paper named Intra-Corporate Entrepreneurship in 1978. The term appeared in popular media through the Time Magazine article “Here Come the Intrapreneurs”, published in 1985.

It is to be noted that although Intrapreneurs do not take the number of risks and rewards taken by an entrepreneur, they do have accessibility to the required capabilities and resources of a recognised company. Intrapreneurs emphasise enhancing the production capabilities and efficiency of a company from within.

Accordingly, they explore the practicability of new applications, policies or technologies. In an enterprise, anybody can be an Intrapreneur.

Whether he is an intern or an employee at the executive level doesn’t matter. He must have the drive to produce innovative ideas and plans for their execution to improve the company’s prospects.

Intrapreneurs are given considerable autonomy in day-to-day operations, enabling them to generate and develop new ideas and work for their execution. They are expected to observe, analyse and predict market trends and plan the prospective projects of the company accordingly.

The goal is to drive the company ahead of its competitors. They are also involved in solving problems related to various company operations, encouraging the growth of new talented Intrapreneurs and including their ideas for the enterprise’s progress.

In the last few years, Intrapreneurs have emerged as an asset for established companies by introducing new ideas and radical changes and widening the vision and horizons of the companies.


Main Differences Between Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs

  1. One of the significant differences between an Entrepreneur and an Intrapreneur is that the former is the initiator or the founder of a Startup company. At the same time, the latter is merely an employee in an existing company.
  2. Both are involved in developing innovative ideas and projects, but their objectives differ. An Entrepreneur aims to produce something new in the market and of socioeconomic value. At the same time, an Intrapreneur aims to make innovations to enhance an established company’s efficiency and productivity.
  3. The risks taken by an Entrepreneur are much more diverse than that of an Intrapreneur. Also, the rewards reaped by the former are more significant than the latter.
  4. As the founder of a company, an Entrepreneur has to raise funds for his business plans. On the other hand, an Intrapreneur gets funds from the company for which he works.
  5. An Entrepreneur is not dependent on anyone to taking any decision. He is the company’s founder; therefore, no one but himself is his boss. On the other hand, an Intrapreneur is bounded by the rules and regulations of his company. Consequently, he has to depend on the final nod of the owner of the company before undertaking any innovations in products, processes or services.
Difference Between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1990-15947-001
  2. https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=733299
  3. https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/35826/1/602297869.pdf
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