What is an intrapreneur?

An intrapreneur is a person within an organisation who innovates and takes the initiative to drive the innovative product, service or process. Anyone within an organisation who is empowered to make, develop and sustain changes within an organisation can be an intrapreneur!

Intrapreneurial activity requires employees to act as entrepreneurs within organisations. The skills and qualities required to be a successful intrapreneur are similar to those of entrepreneurs: they require vision, creativity, high levels of motivation and leadership, and the ability for people to ‘horizon scan’ to anticipate changes that could either damage or create opportunities for their organisation. Intrapreneurs need to have social and teamworking skills to bring people with them, and communication skills to articulate and present their ideas clearly to people inside their organisation and to diverse audiences. Intrapreneurs can represent a disruptive or challenging influence within organisations to stimulate change and should play a leading role when companies are responding to external threats and opportunities, and rapid economic, societal and environmental changes and need to adapt.

Intrapreneurship offers a model to develop personal growth, economic growth, and the freedom to experiment, opening avenues for different forms of innovation.

How can the Higher Education sector support intrapreneurship, and drive innovation within our economy?

The current model of innovation engaged with the innovation agenda can often focus on the principles and practices developed for the entrepreneur. Whilst developing a culture of entrepreneurial innovation is critical to the UK economy, intrapreneurial innovation is central to continuing to develop research and development in established companies. In addition, the hidden value of innovation in the fields of arts, humanities and social sciences risks being overlooked, particularly in relation to the intangible capital that comes from extensive networks and brands, and the co-creational development of human and social capital for individuals and communities.

ABaCuSS seeks support, develop and create new partnership models to enable social scientists to engage and contribute to innovation through existing practices of consultancy, supported practice, internships, KTPs, impact and knowledge exchange, as well as innovative ways of working.

How can ABaCuSS support you?

Funded by Aspect, ABaCuSS seeks to accelerate intrapreneurial models within existing businesses to enhance societal impact and drive economic solutions to social issues as well as generating revenue. ABaCuSS seeks to act as a bridge between companies and PhD students looking to use, develop and support companies in driving innovation, economic growth and sustainability.

Please get in touch if you have an innovation challenge you would like our PhD students from the Universities of Glasgow, Manchester, and Sheffield to help you!

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