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Entrepreneurs, infopreneurs and intrapreneurs

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  1. Entrepreneurs.

The majority of specialists argue that countries very much depend on entrepreneurs because their creativity and willingness to work make the country’s economy function efficiently. Entrepreneurship is generally described as “the mindset and process by which an individual or group identifies and successfully exploits a new idea or opportunity. It requires creativity, ambition, independence and the willingness to bear the inevitable risks involved” (Enterprise Britain: A Modern Approach to Meeting the Enterprise Challenge, 2002, p.1).

Entrepreneur is “a person who habitually creates and innovates to build something of recognized value around perceived opportunities” (Who Is the Entrepreneur? Available at URL: http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/entrepreneur_main.html).

Entrepreneurs are the ones who get ideas about creation of enterprises. They look for sources of capital and take all of the risks associated with projects. It is very important for countries to promote entrepreneurship because it is the basis of the strong economy. Many of the small enterprises eventually grow into large companies which are well-recognized in the world. In order to let them develop, the government needs to support enterprises in all possible ways.

Enterprises have always played a very important role in the economy of the UK. The government of the country realized the importance of small business for the development of the country. Officials argue that “enterprise is the lifeblood of our economy- boosting productivity, creating employment and prosperity, and revitalizing our communities” (Enterprise Britain: A Modern Approach to Meeting the Enterprise Challenge, 2002, p.6).

Enterprise is currently blossoming in the UK. “Since 1970s, increasing globalization has gone hand-in-hand with resurgence in small business activity. During the late 1990s, SMEs accounted for over half of all job creation in expanding firms, and new firms established during the period had provided 2,3 million new jobs by 1999- over 85 percent of which were SME’s.” (Enterprise Britain: A Modern Approach to Meeting the Enterprise Challenge, 2002, p.12).

Nowadays, enterprises have become very popular in such a growing sector as service sector because this field requires enterprises all over the country. Small business also gained its popularity in manufacturing because many entrepreneurs have discovered their own techniques of production and submitted new goods into the market. Large companies are not a threat for those enterprises which sell some unique products in the market. The principle of competition on which free market system is based states that all of the companies are able to enter the market and there should not be any barriers.

Even though the problem of volatility had a negative impact on the activities of enterprises, they applied modern technique in order to overcome this problem. As the result, more enterprises started appearing in the most industrialized parts of the country. Besides, more enterprises in the UK tend to appear in the fields which deal with innovations. Entrepreneurs have discovered that it is usually much easier for them to develop if their business is connected with all kinds of innovations.

By offering a unique product to the market, entrepreneurs ensure their competitive position. Entrepreneurship has often dealt with some kind of innovations but nowadays they have become particularly important. Many innovations have been offered by entrepreneurs in the fields of computer technologies and other industries which are based on intellectual property. The fact that entrepreneurship is stimulated in the UK leads to the raise in the innovations. Many businesses in the country have innovations in their basis. Companies which suggest some new technologies eventually win a large share of the market.

It is also important to mention that many entrepreneurs have appeared in cultural and social sectors of the UK. The cultural sector of the UK has reached one of the highest levels in the world. The UK is the home of many large theatres as well as small playhouses. Entrepreneurs often try their efforts in the theatre business because they have some new plays to offer to the audience.

Even though some of the small playhouses fail, many of them eventually get recognition from the public and expand in the future. There are also many exhibitions opened by entrepreneurs in order to attract the public. It is necessary to mention the role of entrepreneurs in the development of family-run hotels in British cities which offer a very high level of quality. There are also many restaurants which are being opened by entrepreneurs in search of applying their talents in cuisine.

Education is also a very important field of entrepreneurship in the UK. “One of the most significant features of the United Kingdom (UK) Labour government’s recent emphasis on “education, education, education” has been the increased role of private interests in both policy formulation and implementation.” (Selwyn, Fitz, 2001, p.551).  The country is home to very many language schools which offer all kinds of training to students who come from overseas.

Tourists are often attracted to the country due to its great historical heritage, but they are also interested in learning the language well. Some of the entrepreneurs, who have invested the money in language schools and have developed them greatly, are very successful nowadays. The field of education can be characterized by large competition but those entrepreneurs who actually offer the highest quality of their companies are able to obtain large profits.

  1. Intrapreneurs.

Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs exist in the same environment but they have many differences. According to Katz & Gartner (1988), “intrapreneurs [are] those individuals at various stages in the process who are attempting to develop new businesses”. However, this definition makes intrapreneurs very similar to entrepreneurs who also seek to develop new businesses in those segments of the market which are characterized by unsatisfied demand. What is the feature which separates intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs?

As Benson (2001) mentions, “Intrapreneurs are more likely to utilize internal rather than external networks in formulating their learning strategy.” (Benson, 2001, p.21). It is as well believed that “intrapreneurs are expected to contribute to the organizational knowledge-creation processes based on developing knowledge relationships and knowledge exchanges within and outside the formal boundaries of the organizations.” (Intrapreneurial Groups. Available at URL : http://members.chello.at/ gre/fleissner/documents/work/intragroups.html).

Some authors also mark that intrapreneur is in some ways a professional who has appeared in the market according to the requirements of the new era of high technologies. In some industries, entrepreneurs can no longer act in the form which they were acting before; they are destined to turn into intrapreneurs. “Specifically, regardless of the industry or organization an individual is working in, he or she is expected to act more and more as an internal entrepreneur, or intrapreneur.” (From Knowledge ‘Workers’ to Knowledge ‘Intrapreneurs’. Available at URL: http://www.brint.com/wwwboard/messages/1421.html).

Intrapreneur is thus a professional who does not take all of the functions of the manager the way an entrepreneur does. He has his skills and his knowledge which need to be applied, and instead of opening his own company, he acts like an independent employee inside a certain company. The appearance of an intrapreneur is a result of certain “social innovation” which is very typical for the market at present.

“Three functions of entrepreneurship should be combined in this social innovation: the complete functional, legal, social, and financial responsibility for his/her economic decisions; the ownership of the tools and means of production; and the engagement in innovative activities for the market.” (Intrapreneurial Groups. Available at URL : http://members.chello.at/gre/fleissner/ documents/work/intragroups.html).

Intrapreneurs do not need to have sophisticated management skills in order to be successful in the market. It is enough for them to possess some unique capabilities which will enable them to function as separate units of a company. The new approach to human resources management applied by certain companies contributes to the increase in the number of intrapreneurs worldwide. “The old employment relationship in which people were paid for holding a position is yielding to a new relationship in which people are given an opportunity to use their talents, with all the freedom, self-control, risks, and rewards”. (Halal, 1994, p.8).

Some of them work from home, which is convenient both for the company and for themselves. The companies have a high demand for professionals of this type, and intrapreneurs usually contribute greatly to the companies’ profitability. “Intrapreneurs reinvigorate corporate departments that have become stagnant and stale. Home office professionals- with their technological know-how and enterprising work style- are often hired as intrapreneurs when they return to the traditional workforce.” (Roberts, 1997. Available at URL: http://www.en-parent.com/Articles/intra-entre.htm).

As an example of intrapreneurship it is possible to regard Intrapreneurial Group called Opteam™. According to the vision of the company, every employee is recognized as a separate unit of the company and not as a regular employee. Therefore, all of the people working for the company have much broader responsibilities than employees at ordinary companies.

The management of the company came up with a brilliant idea: “instead of having all the people working in the firm employed on a wage basis, some of them form groups which function as small-scale enterprises.” (Intrapreneurial Groups. Available at URL : http://members.chello.at/gre/fleissner/ documents/work/intragroups.html). As the result of the innovation, the company is experiencing great prosperity. All of the intrapreneurs are selected very carefully for them to be able to make the largest contribution to the company’s work.

  1. Infopreneurs.

Infopreneurs are active participants of the market in the new era. Infopreneurs get ”real income from a real business. Your information-based business develops into a stable, safe, diversified, substantial and profitable business, based upon multiple streams of income.” (Become An Infopreneur. What Do You Know That The Net WANTS? Available at URL: http://www.infopublishing.sitesell.com).

Infopreneurs are in many ways similar to entrepreneurs by their attributes and values, but at the same time there are some radical differences. First, the major function of infopreneurs is to “convert knowledge of a certain subject into business.” (Become An Infopreneur. What Do You Know That The Net WANTS? Available at URL: http://www.infopublishing.sitesell.com).

In comparison with entrepreneurs who can use other assets besides knowledge to start the business, infopreneurs rely totally on their knowledge of something. Infopreneurs take advantage of their intellectual capabilities in many ways. For example, they “look beyond and beneath the hyperbole that currently surrounds Information Technology. Infopreneurs show managers how to find these individuals in their organisation and how to facilitate their efforts and deploy their unique skills.” (Dance, 1994).

The slogan of infopreneurs is to “take what you know (from work experience, hobbies, passions, or pastimes) and convert that into a genuine, thriving enterprise that you will be proud to call yours, from the ground up, one step at a time.” (Become An Infopreneur. What Do You Know That The Net WANTS? Available at URL: http://www.infopublishing.sitesell.com). Infopreneurs use their specific knowledge as the base of their future income, i.e. they monetize their knowledge with the help of the web or other tools.

There are many examples of infopreneurs. For example, Shirley Frazier has published her books on various subjects and became very successful due to her infopreneurship. She took advantage of the information she knew and obtained reward for sharing the knowledge with public. As Shirley mentions, her “first product was a self-published manual titled “Gift Baskets and Beyond.” It was a guidebook that shared little-known secrets about starting and marketing a gift basket business.” (Secrets of Successful Infopreneurs. Available at URL: http://www.juicedconsulting.com/art_jt_sfrazier.php).

Shirley says her revenues are becoming higher every year because she constantly looks for new ways of selling her knowledge to the public. For people who would like to become infopreneurs themselves, she suggests to “schedule a meeting with yourself (if self-employed) or with staff members to brainstorm all of the products that will benefit your customers. Before developing additional products, review your financial records to see which items have sold best over time.” (Secrets of Successful Infopreneurs. Available at URL: http://www.juicedconsulting.com/art_jt_sfrazier.php). Shirley constantly evaluates her position in the market and seeks for ways to introduce new intellectual products to it when the time is the most appropriate.


Academic sources.

  1. Dance, Stephen G. Infopreneurs: the hidden people who drive strategic information systems. Macmillan Press Ltd. 1994.
  2. Enterprise Britain: A Modern Approach to Meeting the Enterprise Challenge. HM Treasury. November 2002.
  3. Fitz John, Selwyn Neil. The Politics of Connectivity: The Role of Big Business in UK Education Technology Policy. Policy Studies Journal. Volume: 29. Issue: 4. 2001.
  4. Halal William E. Let’s Turn Organizations into Markets! an Answer to Modern Complexity. The Futurist. Volume: 28. Issue: 3. May-June 1994.
  5. Hamilton Daphne, Rosa Peter. Gender and Ownership in UK Small Firms. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. Volume: 18. Issue: 3. 1994.
  6. Honig Benson. Learning Strategies and Resources for Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. Volume: 26. Issue: 1. 2001.
  7. Katz, J., & Gartner, W. Properties of emerging organizations. Academy of Management Review, 13(3), 429-441. 1988.
  8. Moorman, C., & Miner, A. Organizational improvisation and organizational memory. Academy of Management Review, 23(4) 698-723. 1988.
  9. Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. The Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 217-226. 2000.
  10. Shrivastava, P. A typology of organizational learning systems. Journal of Management Studies, 20(1), 7-28. 1983.

Internet sources.

  1. Who Is the Entrepreneur? Available at URL: http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/entrepreneur_main.html
  2. Intrapreneurial Groups. Available at URL : http://members.chello.at/ gre/fleissner/documents/work/intragroups.html
  3. From Knowledge ‘Workers’ to Knowledge ‘Intrapreneurs’. Available at URL: http://www.brint.com/wwwboard/messages/1421.html
  4. Lisa M. Roberts. Intrapreneurs vs. Entrepreneurs. Available at URL: http://www.en-parent.com/Articles/intra-entre.htm
  5. Become An Infopreneur. What Do You Know That The Net WANTS? Available at URL: http://www.infopublishing.sitesell.com
  6. Secrets of Successful Infopreneurs. Available at URL: http://www.juicedconsulting.com/art_jt_sfrazier.php

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