Difference Between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur (With Table)

Although he generates new ideas for the company’s betterment, but neither has he taken the risks involved in it nor does he enjoys the full reward.

Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur are two distinct terms used in the corporate world to refer to individuals who are responsible for developing new business ideas and leading them to execution. The terms have some similar qualities like both of them entail innovative thinking and working for the execution of innovative ideas and other behavioural skills like strong leadership, observation, cooperative thinking, networking and experimentation.

Such striking similarities often overshadow the basic difference between them which must be taken into account to distinguish an Entrepreneur from an Intrapreneur.

Entrepreneur vs Intrapreneur

The main 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 bounded by the rules and regulations of that enterprise.

An Entrepreneur is defined as an individual who sets up a new enterprise absorbing the risks involved and enjoying the rewards earned. He is the mind behind the success or failure of a new enterprise.

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


Comparison Table Between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison




It describes a person who establishes his own company and shoulders the risks and rewards involved in it.

It refers to a person who works in a company and is vested with the responsibility of carrying out innovations in products, operations and services and so on.


To introduce something in the market that is new and of socio-economic value.

To improve the performance and market sustainability of an established enterprise.


Founder of a company

Employee in an existing company

Nature of Enterprise

Recently established.

Well-established (stable)

Source of Capital

Acquired 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 origin of the term 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 being used to describe a person who ventures into a new business.

The four resources that are important 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 for the arrangement and coordination of 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 major hurdles faced by the Entrepreneurs while setting up a Startup company include:

  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 major 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 who is responsible for developing new ideas and projects for the betterment of the company’s future. He is an entrepreneur within the confines of an enterprise but may not take the gigantic risks or get the huge rewards entitled to an entrepreneur.

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

It is to be noted that although the Intrapreneurs do not take the amount of risks and rewards taken by an entrepreneur, they do have accessibility to the required capabilities and resources of a recognised company.

Intrapreneurs emphasise on enhancing the production capabilities and efficiency of a company from within. Accordingly, they tend to 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 of executive-level doesn’t matter. What is important is that he should have the drive for producing innovative ideas and plans for their execution for the betterment of the company’s prospects.

In day to day operations, Intrapreneurs are given considerable autonomy which enables 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 operations of the company, encouraging the growth of new talented Intrapreneurs and including their ideas for the progress of the enterprise.

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

Main Differences Between Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur

  1. One of the major differences between an Entrepreneur and an Intrapreneur is that the former is the initiator or the founder of a Startup company. While the latter is merely an employee in an existing company.
  2. Both of them are involved in developing innovative ideas and projects but their objectives are different. An Entrepreneur aims to produce something new in the market and of socio-economic value. While an Intrapreneur aims to make innovations for enhancing 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 exceptionally larger than that of the latter.
  4. Being the founder of a company, an Entrepreneur has to raise funds for his business plans all by himself. An Intrapreneur, on the other hand, gets funds from the company for which he works.
  5. An Entrepreneur is not dependent on anyone for taking any decision. He is the founder of the company and therefore no one but himself is his boss. An Intrapreneur, on the other hand, is bounded by the rules and regulations of the company for which he works. Consequently, he has to depend on the final nod of the owner of the company before undertaking any innovations in products, processes or services.



The success of an enterprise is dependent on how innovative a business idea is and how efficient are its leaders in executing those ideas. In this context, the qualities of an Entrepreneur and an Intrapreneur are very much significant.

It is important to note that the origin of the term ‘Entrepreneur’ can be traced back to the rise of the Capitalist system of production while the term ‘Intrapreneur’ originated only in the 1980s. If there is still some confusion left regarding the difference between the two terms, this fact is enough to subdue them.


  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