Large companies need to encourage entrepreneurship, here is why

by Ashvini on January 21, 2013 · 10 comments

in Entrepreneurship

Large companies except a few are rarely known as entrepreneurial streak. The comfort of a huge market share, combined with strong balance sheet and dependency of customers often make large companies indifferent to idea of entrepreneurship.

Here are a few reasons why

  1. Hierarchical mind-set  of management
  2. Preference towards status quo
  3. Top heavy management
  4. Controlling style of management
  5. Organization lack of focus on innovation
  6. No incentives for those with entrepreneurial instinct
  7. Large bureaucracy
  8. Lack of entrepreneurial ecosystem

Here are the risks of not turning entrepreneurial

  1. Threat from agile smaller companies
  2. Threat from changing technology
  3. Effect of falling behind in exploring new market
  4. Attrition of enterprising workforce
  5. Threat from large companies who are innovating
  6. Loss of reputation with customers tuned to new technologies
  7. No development of new models and products ; reliance on old
  8. Slow loss of market share
  9. Ignoring new money making opportunities

Here’s how they can change

  1. Encourage entrepreneurship by fostering a winning culture
  2. Create performance programs aimed at innovation
  3. Spin off entities for new market development
  4. Make entrepreneurs and innovators answerable to board members
  5. Remove bureaucratic hurdles

About The Author


Sonia Winland January 31, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Evidence of this is companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google (using Microsoft loosely). Apple employees are the driving force behind the brand. Without them and their leaders, how could they be in front and shape technology today?

Some might want to put it all on Steve Jobs ( rest in peace), but you know it wasn’t just his brain child. He had help and he encouraged and pushed his employees harder than most. When we think of technology the first word that comes to mind is Apple. If that isn’t a company promoting entrepreneurship, I don’t know who is.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena February 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm

That is totally true. Success is not often a one person show and it takes a team to achieve that. Yes there needs to a leader but without team he or she cannot do much. I wish large companies did more for entrepreneurship and that is not only tech companies :).

Hope you are having a great day :)

Julie Barrett January 25, 2013 at 3:00 am

Hi Ashvinvi, Having spent about twenty years working for huge companies, I see what you mean and I wonder when they will realize the need to be nimble and creative. It’s funny, at the very end of my “corporate career” I worked for a smaller company and they had the ear of the man in charge, could move quickly, but often made the wrong move! Maybe we could marry the two somehow!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Hi Julie,

Great to see you on the blog. Yes, I completely agree that a merger of two would be a great idea. Maybe they need to listen to what you are saying :) .

I am very happy to see you here. Thank you :)

Shamelle January 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Hi Ashvini,
Large companies use a range of methods to become more innovative. As companies grow and become big, they tend to lose some of the innovative capacity which was present when they were smaller or newly-started.

By creating programmes to foster intrapreneurship, large companies are creating a culture where ideas can develop and be captured anywhere throughout the organisation, spurring innovation among all employees.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Hi Shamelle,

Welcome to my blog. I feel that there are companies who have been successful at that. Apple and Google come to my mind. However I feel that most pay just the lip service to the concept despite the enormous resources they command.

Thanks for your comment . I appreciate that.

Adrienne January 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Hey Ashvini,

When I was in corporate America, I didn’t work for large companies. For a lot of the reasons you shared here but to me I was always treated like a number. They didn’t see “me” as a person who added value. If you were the low man on the totem pole and a layoff was coming you got cut no matter how great of a job you did. I learned my lesson early on so I mostly worked for smaller companies throughout the remaining years of my employment.

Unfortunately with the smaller companies though very few actually make it for the long haul. I never felt they inspired the entrepreneur in us but I’m sure maybe in today’s market it’s much different. I would sure hope it would be.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Hi Adrienne,

I totally agree, in a big corporation, employees are often numbers. I think that risks are now equal in both smaller and larger companies. Layoff, downsizing and company collapse can happen anywhere. Working with smaller companies is both a challenge as well as fun. Large companies can also provide a wonderful environment if they try. However we know that does not happen ;).

Thanks for your comment and hope you are having a fine day :)

Daria Steigman January 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Hi Ashvini,

I often use an analogy I heard from Chris Anderson: that big companies are like battleships — they can make big splashes, but they don’t have the flexibility to maneuver with any speed. What that leaves out, of course, is that battleships are quite complex and have a lot of moving parts. The key is to leverage the complexity and harness the power (of people, size, market share, etc.) to make small changes with big ripple effects. Creating a culture of intra-preneurship to foster this is critical.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm

“Intrapreneurship” is the key !!! However it only happens re-actively and never proactively. Big companies have such resources but I have rarely seen them to go out of their comfort zone. It is the leadership which has to create the right environment to utilize these resources.

Thanks for your comment :)

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