For some time now we’ve been hearing and writing about the importance of entrepreneurship in the future workforce. The call has been for young Australians to become job creators over job seekers.
More importantly though, the workforce needs intrapreneurs!
Students don’t have to be entrepreneurs to be successful, but unlocking their entrepreneurial skills will certainly unlock a world of opportunity.
An intrapreneur is somebody who behaves like an entrepreneur, but instead of working for themselves, they are employed within a business or organisation. Unlike entrepreneurs, they have the stability of a support network and a steady income.
Most businesses understand that intrapreneurs provide the imagination and drive that gives them the competitive edge. Smart businesses create the structure that allows employees to unlock their creativity, share their ideas and become valued stakeholders in the process. They encourage and nurture innovation, and foster the talent and enthusiasm of their employees – those intrapreneurs within their ranks.
Schools can also play their part by nurturing intrepreneurs in the classroom and help put them on the path to workplace satisfaction!
So who are these intrapreneurs?
Take a look around and you will recognise the potential intrapreneurs in your classroom. They are the students who are not quite happy to sit back and let it all happen.
- They get involved
- They question why things are done the way they are done
- They make suggestions for improvement
- They are the creative thinkers and risk-takers
We encourage those traits, and under the right circumstances those traits can be learned. If we allow students to participate creatively in the classroom, we will arm them with the skills, confidence and expectation that they can also participate creatively in the workforce.
Check out the ENTREPRENEUR module in the Work-Ready Program. The ‘Intrapreneur’ section has activities and information that will help your students explore what it takes to be an intrapreneur.
Practice and opportunity!
Of course developing entrepreneurial skills takes practice and opportunity, and this certainly isn’t confined to the classroom.
Wherever you are in Australia, your students will find opportunities to practice their skills, share ideas and make connections at forums and events. Encourage them to do a bit of googling and explore university, industry hubs and community websites in your state, territory or region.
Better still, get your students to help organise an event at your school to make connections with local industry. Who knows the opportunities it will bring to your fledgling intrapreneurs!
Foundation for Young Australians
The League of Intrapreneurs