The intrapreneurship ecosystem

This report explores how to spur and sustain “intrapreneurship" within large corporations - commercial innovation that also has a positive social and/or environmental impact. It provides a framework for understanding the “Intrapreneurship Ecosystem” – the complex set of processes, practices, resources and relationships which collectively serve to facilitate or inhibit intrapreneurship and social innovation. The report identifies four key components of the internal Intrapreneurship Ecosystem and explains the ways in which each element can either serve to help intrapreneurship to flourish, or hinder the process of innovative ideas being generated, developed and scaled. It also provides peer advice and examples on how to scale and systemise intrapreneurs’ insight, energy and ideas.


Developed by - Business Fights Poverty and League of Intrapreneurs


Synopsis: This report is based on insights and information gathered from global workshops, online learning sprints and interviews with dozens of intrapreneurs, leaders and subject matter experts.


Using the four four key components of the internal Intrapreneurship Ecosystem, the report identifies the main areas where there is a lack of focus, support or investment which limits innovation and scale. For example: 

Purpose beyond Profit: If a business is lacking a clearly defined social purpose or if this is not integrated.

People as Change Agents: Where innovation isn’t encouraged, supported or recognised.

Power of We: Where failure is not permitted, people are working in silos or leadership is top down. 

The Generative Pipeline: Where there is no investment into the development and scaling of ideas.


The report proposes a number of ways to address these challenges:

Purpose beyond Profit: walking the talk - making purpose real and actionable; investing for the long term but being quick to market; making purpose practical but not prescriptive.

People as Change Agents: ensuring performance metrics; incentivising innovation; recruiting for and investing in relevant skills to generate intrapreneurial behaviour; creating new narratives and ensuring success stories are heard and celebrated.

Power of We: creating space for exploration and experimentation while doing ‘day-jobs’; breaking out of organisational silos and making collaboration happen; ensuring leadership is supportive, accessible and trained in innovation decision-making.

The Generative Pipeline: enrolling employees far and wide; creating nimble structures to enable disruptive innovation; making investment commensurate with scale of innovation ambition.


Actions for MNCs – This report will enable MNCs to understand the broad business benefits to supporting both intrapreneurs and the inclusive/social business propositions they are developing.


To download the report, click here


To read the launch blog, click here:


To read the related Stanford Social Innovation Review article, click here


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