1.3.5 New answers are emerging: corporate entrepreneurship and innovation

Corporate entrepreneurship is responsible for those activities by which we exploit the discovered opportunities. It involves the company's ability to innovate, take risk, and seize opportunities in its markets. It centres on creating new business by penetrating new markets, pursuing new business, or both. We define the term as the process by which teams within an established company conceive, foster, launch and manage a new business1.

Corporate entrepreneurship is more than just new product development, it involves all types of innovation: process innovation, marketing innovation and organizational innovation as well.  Innovation in technologies or products might actually be just a small part of creating business value.2

Starbucks Corp., for example, chose to innovate in customer experience. Companies can introduce innovation on any aspect of how they do business as long as it fits together as a coherent system.3


Figure 3: Four types of innovation

Apply and take into account all sorts of innovation in your local area during a recession with the following considerations4:

product innovation

Analyse the market detecting holes in it. Are there products and services in higher quality or for a lower price as well? Think with the head of your customer. What could be missing for them out there?
Developing a new product seems risky in many cases. But the crises does not last forever. When there will finally be an increase in the tendency to purchase products and use services, one can make a significant advantage by coming out with a new product compared  to the older products of the competitors.

process innovation

The process often takes resources - like time, human capacity, electricity - and they all worth money. Think about making the process more efficient or save money by making the process shorter or a higher quality.

marketing innovation

There is a growing significance to find new ways to the customers. Find out their needs and advertise your solutions in new ways.  Use the language and cultural competence of immigrants to address new clients in an adequate way. This enables your potential customers to pay attention when they see a unique message.

organizational innovation

In the crises there is a convenient opportunity for organizational innovation. The time has come to spend the emerging extra time on analyzing the structure, intellectual capital, expertise and exploitable resources. If you want to survive, you cannot postpone anymore to get rid of the unneccessary bits, the possible quality change of your colleagues.


1 Robert C. Wolcott and Michael J. Lippitz: The Four Models of Corporate Entrepreneurship. 2 J. Kitching: Business strategies and performance during difficult economic conditions 3 M. Sawhney “The 12 Different Ways for Companies to Innovate,” 4 For more details see module 1 Characteristics and types of innovation