DEFINITION of 'Intrapreneurship'

Acting like an entrepreneur within a larger organization. The term is derived from a combination of "intra" or internal, and "entrepreneurship." Intraprenuers are usually highly self-motivated, proactive and action-oriented people who are comfortable with taking the initiative, even within the boundaries of an organization, in pursuit of an innovative product or service.

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BREAKING DOWN 'Intrapreneurship'

Behavioral characteristics of intrapreneurship include initiative, an ability to "think outside the box", risk-taking and leadership - all traits that are also possessed by successful entrepreneurs. The major difference between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs is that the fruits of success default to the organization rather than to the intrapreneur. On the other hand, the intrapreneur also has the comfort of knowing that failure will not have a personal cost - as it would for an entrepreneur - since the organization would absorb losses arising from failure.

An increasing number of U.S. companies now encourage intrapreneurship, especially in certain sectors such as technology and biotechnology.

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