Hide-and-seek begins… Where are you, European entrepreneurs?
Based on the World Economic Forum report ‘Europe’s Hidden Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurial Employee Activity and Competitiveness in Europe’ (December, 2016), prepared by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, we should think twice before describing Europe as lagging behind other regions in terms of entrepreneurial activities, including ambitious and innovative types. As it was stated by the authors of this report, Entrepreneurship can be expressed by more than one form of activity, can be conducted in any phase of life cycle of both private and public organizations.
In the case of Europe, rather than starting business themselves entrepreneurs work and innovate for established organizations. Therefore, the proportion of intrapreneurs (entrepreneurial employees) in Europe is somewhat larger than in other regions.
According to GILE Experts, Governments of various European economies should monitor the dynamics of intrapreneurship versus entrepreneurship: how many of intrapreneurs become independent entrepreneurs; what are their motives to switch from intrapreneurship to entrepreneurship, and what value this transformation may add to an economy.
Based on the World Economic Forum report (December, 2016), intrapreneurs are significantly more likely to perceive entrepreneurial opportunities and to acknowledge their capabilities for starting a business. GILE Experts believe that intrapreneurs do not need to fully manage the corporate and financial risk; they often use organizational resources and have a direct access to information; thus, the fear of failure might be one of the main factors discouraging adults from the entrepreneurship career. The exerts believe, that intrapreneurship is a perfect choice to get more experience, to build necessary networks, and develop capabilities which are critical in growing a sustainable and innovative business. According to GEM (2016), enterprising instincts of entrepreneurial employees are similar to those of early-stage entrepreneurs.
Given statistical evidence that entrepreneurial employees’ activities are more prevalent in highly competitive economies, such countries as Sweden with 9,1% of intrapreneurs, the United Kingdom (6,5%), Estonia (4,3%) or Lithuania (4%) should pay a special attention to intrapreneurial activities (GEM 2011-2014) in order to leverage their value-added. Based on GEM (2016), only about 4% of the working-age population in European economies are involved in intrapreneurial activities, and a very few countries rank highly on both early-stage entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial employees’ activities (the Netherlands is an exception).
To combine both types of entrepreneurship GILE Experts rely on GEM (2016) recommendations:
- Complementary resources and efforts should be shared among young and established firms in order to boost innovation processes and attract financial capital for R&D and innovation.
- Entrepreneurship education programs should focus on creativity and innovation enhancement, risk management, co-operation opportunities, and intrapreneurial activities in larger companies.
Find more recommendations how to leverage the entrepreneurship potential in your economy or company: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Entrepreneurship_in_Europe.pdf.