Difference Between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur

Difference Between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur

6 mins read44.2K Views Comment
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Jul 17, 2024 17:43 IST

The primary difference between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur is their operational environment. Entrepreneurs operate independently, creating and managing their own business ventures, often taking significant financial risks. In contrast, an intrapreneur functions within the framework of an existing organization, leveraging its resources and capabilities to innovate and drive new projects or initiatives, typically with less personal financial risk.

Difference Between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur

Over the years, entrepreneurial vocabulary has significantly changed. With a growing number of start-ups in today’s business world, you must have heard the term Entrepreneur multiple times, but did you know what an intrapreneur is? In this article, we will understand what an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur are and the difference between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur.

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What Is An Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a person who starts a business. He is a dreamer and an individual with an idea who is willing to take risks to start a project or a business.

The entrepreneur is the person who discovers a business opportunity, provides the investment funds, and invests the capital necessary to create and push a company. He is the primary decision maker and decides how much, where, and the product or service will be produced and sold.  

An entrepreneur is distinguished by his ability to innovate. This does not have to involve creating a business from scratch. Instead, managing an existing idea differently can also be a start. They resolutely undertake innovative actions and seek colleagues who can commit to a common goal.

Types of Entrepreneurs

Innovators – As the name suggests, they are entrepreneurs who come up with entirely new ideas and turn them into profitable businesses. Innovators think differently from other people think and do things. They are incredibly passionate and obsessive about their work and always strive to do better than earlier and others. Some exciting examples of innovators are Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Bill Gates, to name a few.

Hustlers – They are the people who work hard. They start by thinking small, then take their idea to the next level and grow their businesses. They are motivated by their dreams and are very focused to acheieve them without caring much about comfort.

Imitators – Imitators imitate but with an improvement over the original idea. They focus on looking for different approaches to improve a product and leaving the competition behind. They are an amalgamation of innovators and hustlers and are usually very confident in their approaches.

Researchers—Though they have come up with an idea, researchers still think a lot before taking a step ahead. They will work on the idea, gather all the related information, and analyze every aspect of the idea with available data. They do not consider failure an option, considering the detailed work they have put in.

Buyers – They have all the money and look for prospective and viable businesses to invest in. Buyer entrepreneurs identify a business, assess its viability,  acquire it and find the perfect person to run and grow it.

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Who is an Intrapreneur?

An intrapreneur is a worker who develops a new line of business or innovation within a company. They take responsibility and lead a project. These professionals are usually very involved with the company. They love pursuing opportunities and are comfortable taking responsibility and being a leader.

On the other hand, there is the class of intrapreneurs working as autonomous profiles who carry out innovative projects within a company. They use the entity’s know-how and resources; thus, such intrapreneurs usually cover most of their costs.

This group of professionals is increasingly sought after by companies. They are characterized by persevering, creative character and are passionate about their work. To carry out their work calmly, their relationship with organizations is based on trust, independence, and flexibility.

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Types of Intrapreneurs

The Advocate – The Advocates usually have a customer-facing role where they function as problem solvers. They define the attributes of the customer and propose the best possible solutions.  

The Creator – Creators are innovators. They give life to a business idea and create a prototype solution. They are fast learners and love change. Creators always look for different ways to do things better. They think big and prefer to work in less structured environments.

The Change Maker – The Change Maker is an external business-facing person responsible for winning new investments and businesses for the company. They are usually very extroverted and confident, with a flair for networking. They may belong to any work level.

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Entrepreneur vs Intrapreneur

Parameter Entrepreneur Intrapreneur
Definition They are decision-makers and work independently. They hold the authority to
execute a business idea or plan.
They are idea makers, and the decision to implement lies with their organisation.
Goals They introduce something new and of socioeconomic value to the market They work towards improving the performance and market sustainability of an established company.
Position Founder of a company An employee in an existing company
Funds Acquired by the entrepreneur himself Provided by the company they work for.
Responsibility Oversees all the activities within the company Responsible just for the assigned tasks
Risks Risks for entrepreneurs are much higher than those of an intrapreneur.
Similarly, the rewards obtained by an entrepreneur are exceptionally high.
Lesser risk than entrepreneurs.
Motivation Self-motivated and determined to take the business to another level Motivated by appreciation, salary growth, and appraisals

Entrepreneurship is the process of creating a new business venture from scratch, often by identifying a gap or opportunity in the market and developing a product or service to meet that need, while intrapreneurship refers to the practice of promoting innovation and entrepreneurial behaviour within an existing organization.

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A significant difference between an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur is that the former is the initiator or founder of a startup. In contrast, the latter is simply an employee in an existing company.

Both are involved in developing innovative ideas and projects, but their goals differ. An Entrepreneur aims to produce something new in the market and of socioeconomic value. An intrapreneur aims to make innovations to improve the efficiency and productivity of an established company.


What is the primary motivation for entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs are often driven by the desire to create their own vision, build wealth, and pursue personal and professional freedom.

What motivates intrapreneurs?

Intrapreneurs are motivated by the opportunity to innovate within the confines of an established organization, contributing to its growth and success.

How do entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs differ in terms of risk-taking?

Entrepreneurs bear the full risk of their ventures and can experience significant financial losses. Intrapreneurs face relatively lower risks since they operate within an established organization.

How do entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs differ in terms of resources?

Entrepreneurs must typically acquire their own resources, such as capital and talent, to start and grow their businesses. Intrapreneurs have access to existing resources within the organization.

Can entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs collaborate?

Yes, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs can collaborate. Intrapreneurs may partner with entrepreneurs to bring innovative ideas to market, leveraging the entrepreneur's business expertise.

How do entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs contribute to the economy?

Entrepreneurs drive economic growth by creating new businesses, generating employment opportunities, and introducing innovative products or services. Intrapreneurs contribute to the growth of existing organizations, promoting innovation and competitiveness.

About the Author
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio