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Entrepreneur vs. Intrapreneur: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 11, 2023
Entrepreneurs establish and run their own businesses, while intrapreneurs innovate within existing companies.

Key Differences

Entrepreneurs are individuals who conceive, establish, and manage their own business, often taking financial risks to do so. In contrast, intrapreneurs are employees within an existing company who employ entrepreneurial skills, such as innovation and risk-taking, without the outer liability and financial risk.
Entrepreneurs aim to create a new business entity and may focus on bringing novel products or services to market. On the other hand, intrapreneurs often work on projects, innovations, or expansions within the confines of their current employment, contributing towards the company's innovation and development.
An entrepreneur usually puts their own capital at risk to start a business, while an intrapreneur operates within the financial framework of their employing organization.
Both entrepreneur and intrapreneur require a skill set that includes innovation, leadership, and risk management, but the entrepreneur does so independently, and the intrapreneur does so within an organizational structure. While entrepreneurs shape their own venture's direction and strategy, intrapreneurs must align their innovations with their employer's goals and objectives.

Comparison Chart

Primary Role

Starts and runs own businesses.
Innovates within an existing company.

Financial Risk

Bears personal financial risk.
Generally doesn’t bear direct financial risk.

Operational Scope

Oversees entire business operations.
Focuses on specific organizational projects.

Resource Allocation

Secures and allocates own resources.
Utilizes the company's resources.


To establish and grow their own business.
To foster innovation within the company.

Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur Definitions


Entrepreneurs often bear financial risks to achieve profits.
The entrepreneur staked his own capital to fund the venture.


Intrapreneurs operate without the direct risk of financial loss.
The intrapreneur was able to experiment with ideas using company resources.


An entrepreneur creates, develops, and implements business ideas.
The entrepreneur transformed his idea into a successful app.


Intrapreneurs implement entrepreneurial skills within their job role.
As an intrapreneur, she pitched and implemented a new market strategy.


Entrepreneurs may bring innovative products or services to market.
The entrepreneur launched a unique product that became popular.


Intrapreneurship involves employing entrepreneurial skills while mitigating personal risks.
The intrapreneur initiated a successful project with the safety of a regular paycheck.


Entrepreneurship can involve aspects like managing, organizing, and risk-taking.
The entrepreneur managed all aspects of his business meticulously.


An intrapreneur innovates within an existing company.
The intrapreneur developed a new product line for the company.


An entrepreneur is someone who starts their own business.
The entrepreneur invested her savings into the startup.


An intrapreneur focuses on internal organizational innovation.
The intrapreneur improved the company's processes, enhancing profitability.


A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.


A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk taking and innovation.


A person who organizes and operates a business venture and assumes much of the associated risk.


A person employed to work independently within a company in order to introduce innovation and to revitalize and diversify its business.


A person who organizes a risky activity of any kind and acts substantially in the manner of a business entrepreneur.


A person who strives for success and takes on risk by starting their own venture, service, etc.


One who takes the initiative to create a product or establish a business for profit; generally, whoever undertakes on his own account an enterprise in which others are employed and risks are taken.


Someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it


Do entrepreneurs take financial risks?

Yes, entrepreneurs often take financial risks to start and run a business.

What is an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is someone who starts and operates their own business.

Can intrapreneurs become entrepreneurs?

Yes, intrapreneurs can become entrepreneurs if they start their own business.

How does an intrapreneur differ from an entrepreneur?

An intrapreneur innovates within an existing company, while an entrepreneur starts their own business.

Are intrapreneurs financially liable for failures?

Typically, no—intrapreneurs don’t bear direct financial risk as entrepreneurs do.

Is financial success guaranteed for entrepreneurs?

No, entrepreneurs face risks and their ventures might not always be financially successful.

Can intrapreneurs make executive decisions?

Intrapreneurs may or may not make executive decisions, depending on their role and company policy.

What skills are vital for an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs require skills like innovation, risk-management, leadership, and financial management.

Do entrepreneurs need a specific educational background?

No, entrepreneurs come from various educational backgrounds and industries.

Does an entrepreneur work within a company?

Typically, no—entrepreneurs create and run their own businesses.

Do intrapreneurs require entrepreneurial skills?

Yes, intrapreneurs use entrepreneurial skills like innovation and risk-taking within a company.

Can intrapreneurs affect a company’s success?

Yes, intrapreneurs can positively impact a company through internal innovations and improvements.

What are challenges entrepreneurs might face?

Entrepreneurs might face challenges like funding, competition, and market conditions.

What drives intrapreneurial initiatives?

Intrapreneurial initiatives are often driven by the need for innovation and growth within a company.

Can entrepreneurship lead to job creation?

Yes, successful entrepreneurship can lead to job creation as the business grows.

What is the main benefit of being an intrapreneur?

Intrapreneurs can innovate and implement ideas with the financial and structural support of a company.

What motivates an entrepreneur?

Various factors, such as innovation, profit, and the desire to solve problems, motivate entrepreneurs.

How can entrepreneurs fund their ventures?

Entrepreneurs can fund ventures through savings, loans, investors, or other financial means.

What role do intrapreneurs play in a company?

Intrapreneurs often play a role in driving internal innovation and implementing new projects or strategies.

Are intrapreneurs bound by company policies?

Yes, intrapreneurs must adhere to the policies and guidelines of the company they work for.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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