Got a great idea but not sure what to do with it? If you've thought about starting your own business but the idea of jumping out on your own is overwhelmingly scary, then there might just be a solution available. Not everyone is fortunate enough to award wings to her entrepreneurial dreams, and the reason isn't always just the fact that you're short of cash; you may also be holding a limiting view of yourself and your skills. The idea or concept of “intrapreneurship” comes to the rescue for many of you who would define yourselves as "closet entrepreneurs."

Intrapreneurship is, in essence, practicing entrepreneurship within the confines of a company. Intrapreneurship works similar to commercial ventures but without the significant risk both from a financial perspective. As an intrapreneur you are embraced by organizations looking to take the next big idea, well, big. These companies encourage you and other employees to get involved with your original ideas and turn them into profitable endeavors with the fiscal support as well as other necessary help from the organization itself.

Entrepreneurship v. Intrapreneurship

There are certain similarities and differences between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Like an entrepreneur, an intrapreneur exhibits traits such as independence, conviction, forethought, eagerness to fulfill his goals, etc. Entrepreneurs are able to make their own decisions, whereas intrapreneurs require authorization from the senior administration of the company.

Most intrapreneurs do not like the hassles associated with launching their own start-up but are inventive and like to think out of the box. “Entrepreneurship within the organization,” therefore, works brilliantly for these people. Another distinguishing factor between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship is age; folks in their 20s and 30s are normally more comfortable with creating their own opportunities and are willing to experiment as opposed to those in their 40s and 50s who are more apt to become risk-averse and hesitate to leave stable jobs.

Intrapreneurship is a “win-win” condition for both the worker and the company. The company benefits from innovative ideas, and for the employee it satisfies inherent self-actualization needs.

Success Reports

Many businesses have benefited as a result of adopting intrapreneurship in their organization. 3M, for example, gives its personnel the leeway to use approximately 15% of their work time to developing novel ideas; and if their "inspiration" seems to be realistic and appeals to the company, then their project gets funded. Even the Sony PlayStation is a result of an intrapreneur named Ken Kutaragi. The CEO showed trust and funded his idea. Needless to say, Kutaragi’s baby has turned into a huge hit in the market and has motivated various "me-toos" as well!

Intrapreneurship really can be summed up as an innovative and useful HR tactic that can facilitate bringing about superior synergy concerning employees’ personal growth and overall organizational growth. As a closet entrepreneur, you may already be in a great position to embrace your creative and innovative side by approaching your management with your ideas. If you are not sure how best to approach your management (or if you are not sure if you ideas are "good" enough), search out support groups, hire a coach, or brainstorm with trusted friends on how best to take the next step.

Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.

To your success!
Coach Karen K

Author's Bio: 

Life Coach and Business Coach Karen Kleinwort is the founder Therapy in Transition and is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in the integration of her clients' mind, body and spirit into her Personal Empowerment Coaching practice. For more information, visit