5 Signs You May Be a Social Intrapreneur

Written by on December 17, 2012 in CSR, Entrepreneurship, Resources - 1 Comment

The Jack-of-all-trades. The Connector. The Secret Change Agent.

What do each of these individuals have in common? They are examples of a new type of corporate changemaker that is cropping up in organizations around the world known as a social intrapreneur. Contrary to their social entrepreneur counterparts—individuals that use their passion and skills to start a new independent enterprise—social intrapreneurs use the resources within the structure of their organization to create innovations that make a positive impact not only on their business but also on the world.

Curious whether you and the work you are doing fall in this category? Here are five signs that you may indeed be a social intrapreneur. And look around you to your colleagues– if you can think of others let us know in the comments.

1) You are curious.

It is often said that defining the problem is half the solution. Social intrapreneurs are inquisitive about defining the problem as much as they are of finding the ultimate solution. That means someone that is not afraid to ask questions, to find out what is working and what may not be, and to eventually take the step to find the solution.

2) You build coalitions.

You have social capital and you use it wisely. Whether it is to connect people to each other, or to rally around an event that you are promoting within your organization, the ability to build a growing coalition and use it for good is a tell-tale sign of a social intrapreneur.

3) You have launched a new initiative, developed a new product, or established an innovative business model within your organization.

You may have spotted a need in the market that others before you have not, and have figured out a way (or are experimenting a way) to leverage the resources of your organization for fulfilling a larger good.

4) You are not satisfied with the status quo.

You are okay with pushing occasional boundaries. In fact, you make just like it a bit. Intrapreneurs share this risk-seeking characteristic with entrepreneurs, but may face additional hurdles to pushing for change due to corporate bureaucracy, company policies, and the like.

5) You believe you can do well and do good.

The type of work environment where businesses include social enterprise and responsibility into their everyday business practices and realize they can increase profits is a social intrapreneur’s haven. Social intrapreneurs have caught onto this business revolution and have truly stepped into fill this space for their companies.

Ashoka Changemakers has recently launched a new open-sourced competition that seeks creative fixes for business and society via these types of social intrapreneurs: “The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out.” The top 15 entrants will from the inaugural League of Intrapreneurs in addition to receiving media and press coverage and being featured in a globally distributed intrapreneur toolkit. The top 4 winners will be profiled in Fast.Co.Exist and receive consulting support to bring their ideas to the next level.

To apply with your own game changing solution or check out the running list of entries, click here.

Smita Satiani is a Program Manager for Ashoka Changemakers, Ashoka’s global online community of action that connects people to share ideas, inspire and mentor each other, where she leads Making More Health’s activities on employee engagement and virtual volunteering.