Difference Between Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship

Difference Between Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship

It’s perfectly normal to get confused every now and then. After all, English is quite a confusing language. A single letter can transform the meaning of a word easily. A difference in pronunciation can change the word’s definition. Some words even mean the exact same thing, yet they differ in the way they are spelled.

This is the reason why we should never stop learning. Lucky enough, the internet has made so much easier for us to learn through discovery. A simple typing of the words (even with the wrong spelling) can get us to the right page in a matter of seconds. It has the ability to clarify any confusions or misconceptions we may have in just a few button clicks. There are thousands of words that people are often muddled about.

Two terms that are often interchanged are entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. What is the difference between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship? In this article, we will define these terms and clarify the difference between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, so you can take them off your list of confusing words. First, let’s decipher the word entrepreneurship.

Definition of Entrepreneurship

What is entrepreneurship? For starters, entrepreneurship is a noun, which means it is chosen to identify a class of activity (or a thing). To be able to fully understand what the definition of entrepreneurship is, it will be helpful to breakdown the expression into smaller pieces. Its root word is “entrepreneur”, and it is also a noun that refers to a someone who produces and facilitates a commercial venture. This was derived from the French term “entreprende” in the 1850s, which means “to undertake.” True enough, an entrepreneur undertakes business ventures and bears the risk of the start-up.

On another note, the word entrepreneurship was not coined until the 1920s. The expression is also said to be related to the Sanskrit word anthaprerna, which refers to being self-driven. By combining these origins, an entrepreneur can be referred to as a self-driven individual who undertakes a business venture. Consequently, entrepreneurship is the process involved in structuring, initiating, and managing a new-fangled enterprise.

An entrepreneur, therefore, must have entrepreneurship skills or must understand entrepreneurship to be able to have better chance in the venture. Simply put, entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur. Now, let’s take a look at the term, intrapreneurship.

Definition of Intrapreneurship

What is intrapreneurship? Like the former, intrapreneurship is also a noun, and it also categorizes an activity (or a thing). Let’s also try to breakdown the term up to its root to thoroughly understand the definition of intrapreneurship. It uses the prefix intra-, which means within or inside.

Then, it adds the said prefix to the term entrepreneur. Finally, it adds the suffix -ship, which means state or condition. Combining all the parts of the expression, we can define it as the state or condition of being an entrepreneur within (the venture).

This term is associated with the American entrepreneur, Gifford Pinchot, in 1982. Mostly, the term applies to large organizations. Its Cambridge characterization, specifically, is a corporate executive who produces new enterprises within the corporation.

According to Wikipedia, it is the act of performing the actions of an entrepreneur while under a larger organization. Simply put, intrapreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur within a company, business, corporation, or organization. If defining the words is not enough, check out the next section for a better comparison.

Entrepreneurship vs Intrapreneurship Comparison Table

To get a better picture of how these two are distinct from each other, below is a table that lays out their variation.

Basis of ComparisonEntrepreneurshipIntrapreneurship
Part of Speech NounNoun
OriginFrench word “entreprende”French word “entreprende”
StructureEntrepreneur + suffix -shipprefix intra- + entrepreneur + suffix -ship
MeaningAct of being an entrepreneurAct of being an entrepreneur within a company, business, corporation, or organization

Conclusion of the Main Difference Between Entrepreneurship vs Intrapreneurship

It’s truly a wonder how words are formed. It’s also amazing how they are transformed with just a few additions or reductions of letters. A good example of this is entrepreneurship vs intrapreneurship. While they originated from the same word, their meanings aren’t the same because of the prefix added in the latter.

The best way to comprehend their difference is through their hierarchy. It is clear that the former represents a larger scale, and the latter represents only a portion in that scale. However, this does not mean that an entrepreneur is more successful than an intrapreneur in facilitating the growth of the venture. Intrapreneurship allows innovation to prosper, and without innovation, the business may find it difficult to keep up with the changing market and needs of the consumers.

Hopefully, the article was able to shed light on the distinction of the above-mentioned terms. Just remember that, for any word that causes confusion, the key is to look within.