Intrapreneurship: Youth Leadership in Organizations

(Rihkee Strapp) #1

One of my first jobs was at the Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie as their events coordinator. Back then there was a huge binder with all the documents and tools the youth created and used that had previously held this summer student position. I remember flipping back to the section created by Rebecca Steubing. As a youth, Rebecca was a major intrapreneur. When she worked for the Arts Council she created Art in the Parking Lot, a younger and more contemporary festival to accompany the established Art in the Park event. While this festival was more interactive and more inclusive of a variety of creative mediums, what made Art in the Parking Lot so impactful was the removal of fees and the payment of youth artists. The removal of this small barrier brought many new members and engaged new parts of the arts community and helped the organization better serve their mandate of supporting local artists. Rebecca was an inspiring intrapreneur.

Youth are using every avenue to make positive social change. Intrapreneurship is one of those avenues.

“Organizations big and small must continuously innovate in order to survive and thrive. Intrapreneurs are those people who adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and apply start-up practices within established organizations. Intrapreneurs are always looking for ways to make things better, and they become adept at using creative thinking and communication skills to arrive at new and innovative solutions to persistent problems,” ("Thinking Inside the Box": Focus on Intrapreneurship).

Millenials and Gen-Z being raised with the internet are largely responsible for helping organizations adapt to new technology.

“A lot of young workers did this within their companies when social media started to take hold – they learned about how businesses could use tweets and postings and messaging to help their companies, and in so doing they became indispensable. That’s a form of intrapreneurship,” (Why You Should Consider Becoming an Intrepreneur).

Google even offers a 20 per cent timeframe to develop personal projects that relate to the business to encourage intrapreneurship, and other companies are following suit.

How are organizations you know making space for youth intrapreneurship?

What are other great examples of youth intrapreneurship in Ontario?

Exciting Partnerships: Youth Leadership across Boundaries