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University of Phoenix Workplace Survey Finds More than One-Third of Working Adults Consider Themselves 'Intrapreneurs'

Employees are seeking opportunities to use an entrepreneurial mindset at the office

PHOENIX, Aug. 13, 2015 — Nearly all of today’s working U.S. adults (93 percent) believe they possess at least some entrepreneurial qualities, and 43 percent of adults either currently own or want to own their own business. While the allure of business ownership is strong, employees are seeking opportunities to perform like entrepreneurs within their current organization, also known as intrapreneurship. A new University of Phoenix® School of Business survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. working adults, conducted online by Harris Poll this summer, revealed that more than one-third (37 percent) of working adults consider themselves entrepreneurial in their current position and more than half (56 percent) acknowledge that their current job gives them the opportunity to utilize an entrepreneurial mindset.

It even appears that overall job satisfaction is tied to opportunities to be entrepreneurial within a company. Over 3 in 5 (61 percent) of those who are satisfied with their current job say their organization provides opportunities to be entrepreneurial. Of those who are unsatisfied with their career, only one-third (33 percent) cited entrepreneurial opportunities in their organization.

“Companies stand to benefit greatly from intrapreneurs because they have the innovative mindset of a traditional entrepreneur,” said Lena Rodriguez, program dean, University of Phoenix School of Business. “By engaging employees who demonstrate entrepreneurial ambition, organizations can capitalize on the intrapreneurs’ proactive pursuit of opportunities to shake up the status quo with the goal to improve business systems from the inside-out. Intrapreneurs are critical to the health of the economy and the workforce ecosystem. It’s a win-win for both the employee and employer.”

Working adults want to be more entrepreneurial, but”

Nearly two-thirds of working adults (64 percent) say they could be more entrepreneurial in their careers, and 7 in 10 (70 percent) say their organization could do more to foster an entrepreneurial culture. Of the 71 percent of working adults who cited employer barriers to behaving like an entrepreneur in their companies, more than half (54 percent) say their organization is slow to change, 47 percent say employees are not encouraged to step outside their scope of work and 46 percent believe leadership is not open to new ideas.

Overall, 34 percent of today’s working adults say they would provide more training and education opportunities for their employees if they were the boss.

“Employees who embrace an entrepreneurial mindset can excel given the right guidance and training opportunities,” said Rodriguez. “While training is important, it is equally important for employees not to rely on their employer to manage their career. Employees should be constantly looking for ways to grow and tie their responsibilities to the company’s success.”

How employers can build an entrepreneurial culture

According to working adults, one of the best ways to achieve an entrepreneurial culture is to encourage creative thinking and suggestions (36 percent). Other suggestions from workers to employers include: brainstorming to address organizational challenges (25 percent), sharing the company vision and goals with all employees (25 percent), encouraging involvement in projects outside day-to-day tasks (24 percent), and promoting risk-taking where failure is accepted (22 percent).

“Intrapreneurs invest in the success of their company beyond their individual achievements and identify creative solutions to address organizational needs,” added Rodriguez. “They are proactive agents continuously looking for opportunities to grow within their career through innovation, self-renewal, and  new business venturing.”

Tips for working adults to be more entrepreneurial in their career

According to Rodriguez, there are several ways working adults can contribute to their workplaces and stand out as more entrepreneurial:

  1. Be knowledgeable: Know the organization, industry and career growth opportunities.
  2. Identify opportunities for self-renewal: Identify ways to redefine a business concept, or introduce a system wide change to increase efficiency and promote innovation.
  3. Find a champion: Identify and engage with a mentor who you admire professionally and whose success mirrors your goals. This individual does not necessarily have to be in your own company.
  4. Think it through: Generating ideas without execution is not being entrepreneurial, it is ideation. Critically think through your idea and develop a feasibility analysis that addresses the related costs, personnel necessary, marketing expenses, etc.
  5. Speak up. If you have ideas and understand what would be required to execute, find the proper protocol to share them. Your ideas can only make a difference if you take a chance and share them with others.

For more information about University of Phoenix School of Business degree programs, visit

Survey Methodology

This year’s Working Adult survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix between June 30 and July 2, 2015, among 2,012 U.S. adults age 18 or older of whom 905 are full-time, part-time, or self-employed. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Heather McLaughlin at

About University of Phoenix School of Business

University of Phoenix School of Business offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that prepare students to be creative problem solvers for the new economy. The School of Business also offers non-degree programs, including certificates, individual courses and non-credit professional development. Doctoral programs are available through the School for Advanced Studies. To learn more about University of Phoenix School of Business programs, visit


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit