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Member News: C.C. Eship / NACCE Journal Fall/Winter 2010

Entrepreneurial Intrapreneurship

Wednesday, November 3, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
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By Mark Wehner
REEsults Coaching™

Since the times of one-room schools to the marble halls of today’s higher education, success has been measured by testing short-term memory. By and large, there have been few changes. Most have perpetuated the myth that if you study hard and get good grades, you will be able to get a job. If our collective business and entrepreneurial curriculum truly worked, then why, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, do over 86 percent of small businesses fail every year? One reason: We’ve taught them exactly "what” to do for over 100 years, not "how” to do it.

The "what” has always included goal setting, creation of a business plan, simulated situational management, implementation and evaluation. Sadly, most have failed in the "how” category. Why? Because "how” is not easily measured. "How’ includes terms like belief, vision, coachability, persistence, and adaptability. Even though "how” is hard to measure, it is critical to the success of the entrepreneur…or even more so to the intrapreneurial business owner. Here is where your community college can capitalize to fill the void created by conventional educational offerings. It will require expanding your present level of entrepreneurship programming and creating a new intrapreneurial culture, a new standard of accomplishment that benefits both your community and your college.

Expanding your present entrepreneurship curriculum by attracting and/or developing innovative intrapreneurship programs has multiple benefits for today’s forward thinking community colleges. Community colleges benefit three ways by incorporating strains of intrapreneurial DNA that parallel your present entrepreneurial areas of study. The three specific benefits include, increased revenues from new student enrollments, expanded value to "established” business markets in the community; and positioning your community college as the leader for innovative, productivity-based studies.

What is intrapreneurship? REEsults Coaching defines "intrapreneurship” as adopting entrepreneurial mindsets and methods while taking ownership of your role and actions that benefit an organization.

The Benefits

First…increased revenues. Are your willing to adapt your present entrepreneurship curriculum to attract new students, including not only those unemployed or underemployed, but those potential students – and maybe even past students – who are gainfully employed with your community based businesses? Do the math. Calculate the amount of net income per student over the past year. Once you know the monetary value of each student, examine your present entrepreneurial curriculum and decide if you have "something new” to offer.

That "something new” would take them beyond business planning, simulators, trade skills, accounting and human resource areas of study. That "something new” is intrapreneurship! It has the potential to attract both past and new students, all adding to the bottom line every time they invest or educationally reinvest in themselves. It has been proven time and time again that it costs less to attract and retain past customers (students) than it does to advertise and spend your marketing dollars searching for new students. So, while you are spending money to find the new students, you can tap a proven income stream by reengaging your past student base with "something new!”

Second…expand your community college’s value proposition to established businesses in your market. Your business community may already be familiar with your entrepreneurship programs. When you are willing to change your present entrepreneurial perspective, you can create new markets that attract local businesses that want their employees to adopt an intrapreneurial spirit by taking "ownership” of their day-to-day work activities. This intrapreneurial change in your perspectives can have a major positive impact on local businesses when you can demonstrate your ability to get all of their employees on the same page. Through your intrapreneurial coaching you can get every employee working together for the mutual benefit of both the company and the individual. It has the power to instantly create added value in your static entrepreneurship programming that taught them "WHAT” to do to set-up their business. Now, by adding a dynamic intrapreneurial course of study, you can coach them on exactly "HOW” to succeed.

Third…With the right set of matched entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial survival skills, your community college will position itself at the center of the economic development universe for all those that are attracted and influenced by your proactive educational benefits! Imagine a world where vision and experience are more valuable than goals and objectives. This is the world of the entrepreneur.

It’s time that entrepreneurial educational institutions practice what they teach. Students come to you with a dream…a dream to control their destiny. Imagine harnessing that entrepreneurial energy, and channeling that energy back into your local businesses in the form of highly motivated employees. It can increase productivity, profits, and the perception that your community college was the genesis of these increased benefits.

Remember, it is what we learn after we think we know it all that makes all the difference.

NACCE partner Mark Wehner can be reached at

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