Innovation and new business development can be initiated by independent individuals or by existing enterprises. The first is referred to as (independent) entrepreneurship, the latter as corporate entrepreneurship. Many initiatives exist that are fostering entrepreneurship, while corporate entrepreneurship (and intrapreneurship) is still not in the focus of most programme initiatives.
Corporate entrepreneurship is defined as a process that goes on inside an existing firm and that may lead to new business ventures, the development of new products, services or processes, and the renewal of strategies and competitive postures. As such, it can be seen as the sum of a company’s innovation, venturing and renewal efforts. Corporate entrepreneurship would not work, unless there are entrepreneurial-thinking employees – so called intrapreneurs.
Intrapreneurship is defined as “the practice of using entrepreneurial skills without taking on the risks or accountability associated with entrepreneurial activities. It is practiced by employees within an established organization using a business model.” (Pinchot&Pinchot 1978) Therefore, intrapreneurial acting of employees leads to more innovativeness within a company, and innovativeness subsequently is related to the long term performance and growth potential of companies. Several studies show this positive relationship between intrapreneurship and company growth (Antoncic & Antoncic, 2011, Kuratko et al, 2005, and many more). Employee skills which promote intrapreneurship are a proactive personality, cognitive ability, and increased personal responsibility. Managerial framework conditions which foster intrapreneurship are an innovative climate, management support and resource availability in the company. This normally leads to enhanced individual performance and higher innovativeness of the company (eurocadres, 2012).
In line with Europe 2020, CIP and COSME, which aim at fostering entrepreneurship, innovativeness and creativity in the European business landscape, the strategic objectives of the project are:
- To foster innovativeness and company growth in European companies
- To establish intrapreneurial structures in companies wishing to be innovative
- To enhance the employability and intrapreneurial skills of employees and students
Taking these aims in consideration, specific objectives are:
- Identification of specific sub-competences constituting the general competences of intrapreneurship and identification of corporate needs in each of the sub-competences (competence model) on employee and management levels
- Development/Improvement of employee competences in medium sized companies in the area of intrapreneurship through a tailor made training programme
- Identification and analysis of European good practice models on intrapreneurship mechanisms, corporate frameworks and support systems as well as incentive schemes
- Development/Improvement of manager’s competences in the field of intrapreneurship and intrapreneurship support through a tailor made training programme
- Provide a self-auditing tool for companies on corporate readiness for intrapreneurship and intrapreneurial friendliness
- Setting up of a sustainability plan for future provision of intrapreneurship training after the project ends and establishing a framework to embed the developed trainings in the ECVET system
- Developing and implementing idea management system in medium sized companies
Consequently direct beneficiaries of project results are:
- Managers of enterprises that wish to be innovative
- Employees of enterprises that wish to be innovative
But also other groups are addressed such as training providers, business development agencies, employment agencies, chambers of commerce, chambers of labour, policy makers, company networks and unions.
VET providers can increase their offers to the industry, their training portfolio and their contacts of potential customers, partly accessing different markets.