If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that life cannot go on as it was before. COVID-19 dealt a devastating blow to the global economy. We must redesign it. Companies are already committing to putting stakeholder value at the core of their business, with ambitions to develop products that truly serve a societal purpose, radically cut carbon emissions and create a fair, inclusive, and resilient value chain. Now we need the roadmap to get there.

One way of facilitating this transition is through social intrapreneurs – employees who create innovative business solutions to social or environmental problems, using the assets and resources of their own companies. They become entrepreneurs from within and, through their pioneering role, create a momentum for change that inspires others to take action. But they cannot do it alone. It is not enough to send hordes of employees to design thinking workshops and have middle managers sip cappuccinos with start-up founders. It needs courage, intent, and leadership to develop ecosystems for these pioneers.

Looking to the Business As Unusual research series published earlier this year by Yunus Social Business, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and Porticus, we have distilled the top five recommendations for growing a culture of social intrapreneurship in your company:

  1. Create a consistent narrative that highlights how innovation for the planet and society is linked to your corporate purpose
  2. Link social intrapreneurship to your core mission and strategy
  3. Adapt incentive systems and internal policies to support social intrapreneurship
  4. Create the pathways for social intrapreneurship with long-term budgets
  5. Connect to a community of social entrepreneurs

Read the full article about social intrapreneur by Daniel Nowack and Françios Bonnici at World Economic Forum.