The Marymount Intrapreneurship Initiative (MI2) turns the entrepreneurship story inside-out. MI2 highlights how the most economically important entrepreneurial behavior is not starting a new business, but is the process for solving problems and creating new opportunities in existing organizations. While startup entrepreneurship may get more media coverage, entrepreneurial behavior applied within an organization – intrapreneurship – is far more important to our region’s economy. Every organization needs people who can be adaptable, creative and affect change and growth. They all need intrapreneurs.
Intrapreneurship has created many of the today’s market-leading products, such as Post-It Notes and the Xbox. It developed new approaches to not for profit activities, like those used by Goodwill and Volunteers of America for fundraising and donor engagement. Intrapreneurship led to big changes in how the federal government fostered innovation, leading to initiatives like 18F and In-q-tel. And intrapreneurship fostered new approaches to consulting services offered by companies such as Booz Allen and IBM.
Intrapreneurship is also the best preparation for subsequent startup entrepreneurship. CapitalOne, AOL and AES Energy are three examples of local businesses that were founded by people who had been successful intrapreneurs before starting their own businesses. Data shows that the substantial majority of startup entrepreneurs gain prior experience as intraprenuers in existing organizations.
The MI2 supports events and research that raises awareness of intrapreneurship’s criticality to our region and the nation. We convene thought leaders and organizations to share best practices of intrapareneurship and skill development. We provide educational opportunities for existing organizations’ leadership to develop intrapreneurial approaches to growth and how to attract and retain an intrapreneurial workforce. And, because we are part of the only intrapreneuer-focused university in our region, our educational offerings highlight opportunities for our students to develop intrapreneurial skills.
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