Business Management / Culture

10 ways an organization can encourage entrepreneurship

Brett Farmiloe

Updated: Sep 05, 2023 · 4 min read

Toolkit for download in this article


Entrepreneurship is more than just a buzzword. It encompasses drive and innovation that affects positive change.

Acknowledging that employees have goals and dreams, and supporting the cultivation of those dreams, benefits the employee and the employer. The employee feels seen and heard and thus more fulfilled, while the employer sees greater employee satisfaction and retention.

To continually progress, companies need entrepreneurial minds at all levels of the organization. In order to achieve this, however, employees must feel that they are in an environment that values entrepreneurship.

In this blog, 10 business executives share how they foster entrepreneurship in their companies.

1. Develop a statement to encourage entrepreneurship

"Our staff created an 'It’s OK To…' statement to help remind employees who are already here, and to show new employees that they can be entrepreneurial at our company. The 'It's OK To…' statement encourages entrepreneurship with statements such as 'It’s OK to fix things that are broken without permission' and 'It's OK to walk over to someone and learn something.' The statement supports our values—and helps express our culture in a simple and concrete way." -- Kimberly Kriewald, AVANA Capital

2. Create a bond between employees and the company

"Entrepreneurship is oftentimes synonymous with Ownership. Whether that individual financially owns that function of the business or not, there needs to be a personal connection to the overall success of that business or department. Trust plays a big part in entrepreneurship actually happening in the business." -- Jon Schneider, Recruiterie

3. Celebrate mistakes

"An organization can encourage entrepreneurship within employees by fostering an environment where new ideas and (gasp) mistakes are celebrated. Many organizations don't create an environment where true entrepreneurship can foster. It can also be argued whether true entrepreneurs can foster in any environment they don't create." -- Gresham W. Harkless Jr., Blue 16 Media

4. Promote 'intrapreneurship'

"The idea of 'intrapreneurship' has received a lot of attention in recent years. We remain on the edge by promoting innovative, impactful, and data-driven work in every area of our business. Each person has to fully believe in this value in order to move new ideas forward, and also take personal responsibility to see projects through to completion." -- Cameron Robb, GPEC

5. Pursue passions in and out of the company

"We encourage our team to explore their passions both in and out of our organization. Many of my colleagues have side hustles that sometimes collaborate with our own work. It's a win-win for everyone to keep their interests piqued." -- Sharon Delaney McCloud, Walk West

6. Entrepreneurship is a mindset

"Entrepreneurship is the creation of value in creative ways or building solutions in a way that hasn’t been done before. Company leaders can encourage this type of thinking by simply allowing their people the space to try new ideas, and providing resources to see them through. 'The way it’s always been don' is not a permanent (or intelligent) answer to anything anymore, and the less that sentence gets used the better." -- Zack McCarty, Qwick

7. Recognize and reward

"An organization should recognize and reward employees whose ideas benefit the company. Employees should understand that the company is supportive of new ideas and that it is OK to fail. Great ideas that need further development should get financial support from experts within the company to help develop and nurture the project so that it may become a success." -- Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case

8. Build personal brands

"Encourage side projects. Not only does this give employees an outlet and testing ground for their creative juices, but it also shows you care about their personal brand enough to want more for them outside of what you can offer in the workplace." -- Michael Norris, Youtech

9. Avoid micromanaging

"Micromanaging is a surefire way to kill creativity and lead to burnout for both parties. Managing from a distance is super important to encourage leadership inside your business. It gives employees the freedom to explore their entrepreneurial sides within a business." -- Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

10. Space, time, and stability

"I’m a firm believer that employees need space, time, and stability in order to even think about entrepreneurship while maintaining work responsibilities. I’ve always felt the best way to encourage entrepreneurship in my organization was to 1) avoid micromanaging employees, 2) offer sufficient time off, and 3) support and reward outside interests." -- Will Daniel, Business Insider

Before you go ...

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