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The ‘intrepreneur’ – less risk but less reward

19th July 2017

An intrepreneur is usually defined as a person employed within a large organisation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product via assertive risk-taking and innovation. Because an intrepreneur is usually already working for a business as an employee the risk taken to launch a new idea is somewhat different to that of a traditional entrepreneur who is going it alone. 

An interpreneur might be an experienced corporate manager who sees an idea that could have legs and subsequently seeks strong financial backing and instant resources from within the business they work for. Intrepreneurs tend to own up to 20% of the shares of the business (as there has to be something in it for them) versus the traditional entrepreneur who almost certainly owns close to 100% by the time the business is established.

You also wouldn’t expect an intrepreneur to show all of the usual characteristics associated with a traditional entrepreneur. Instead, somewhere there will be some kind of security established or specific terms and conditions when they launch the business, especially if it is as an offshoot of the organisation they work for.

The truth is, as the entrepreneurial landscape continues to evolve, this is a growing area in terms of the founding of new businesses today. We are seeing more and more intrepreneurs coming to the forefront and there is good reason for this. Namely less risk, but some might argue less fun and far less reward than going it alone? That, I guess depends on the person. It’s no secret however, that the risk factor is what stops many people from taking the plunge into moving forward with a new business idea – it’s too far out of the comfort zone or it means putting your own money where your mouth is, so intrepreneurialism is one way of getting around that.

The fundamental differences between these two groups of potential ‘innovators’ are that intrepreneurs are not 100% risk takers, otherwise they would be out there on their own, driving around the M25 in freezing conditions in mid-winter, in their partner’s old beaten up Beetle (with no heating) and parking the car well away from their potential client’s car park in case they are seen leaving! The intrepreneur would more likely have a warm, C-Class Mercedes company car at the very least. The question is, if you had a great business idea which side of the fence would you sit on?

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