VIDEO: How can we scale the number and impact of intrapreneurs?

By [Kate Hyson], Director of Thought Leadership, Business Fights Poverty

Watch Emily Fry of Barclays, Caitlin Bristol of Johnson & Johnson and Teodora Berkova of Pearson, speaking at Business Fights Poverty’s recent Skoll World Forum Ecosystem Event on Corporate Social Innovation.

As part of Business Fights Poverty’s continued focus on what it takes to scale corporate social innovation, we recently brought together over 150 intrapreneurs, social entrepreneurs, business experts and policy makers to explore what the future of business could look like if corporate employees were fully enabled to align profits with purpose.

The event took place on 10th  April, the opening day of Skoll World Forum 2018, in Oxford UK and was hosted in partnership with the League of Intrapreneurs, and with the support of Barclays, Cemex and Pearson.

The event opened with a discussion with intrapreneur, turned author, Gib Bulloch, and B Lab founder, Andrew Kassoy.  Watch the video of the first session here.

The second session brought together intrapreneur programme leaders: Emily Fry of Barclays, Caitlin Bristol of Johnson & Johnson and Teodora Berkova of Pearson to discuss the topic of corporate social innovation.

Panelists explore.

  •     Why businesses should innovate to deliver social and commercial value?
  •     What is holding back the scale and impact of corporate social innovation?
  •     As well as personal experiences of what it takes to be an intrapreneur.



Teodora, Emily and Caitlin each explained the intrapreneurial programmes taking place within Pearson, Barclays and Johnson & Johnson respectively.  In all cases, they are not only supporting intrapreneurs directly, but also helping to set business strategy, enabling scale through integration and always aiming to prove why corporate propositions which deliver social alongside commercial value are critical to unlocking future business opportunities.

Between them they highlighted three key levers, which could help integrate and scale intrapreneurship within business:

  1.    Integrating social impact measures into personal performance indicators– many intrapreneurs have to do their day job first and then be social innovators second; whilst their sponsors and managers aren’t engaged to reward or recognise this extra work, let alone create the time for this to occur within the day job. How can social value be included in, not only the intrapreneurs’ performance, but also their project sponsors and line managers?
  2.    Harnessing the mainstream R&D or innovation language, tools and insights – Many businesses will have existing R&D or innovation teams, whilst others will have leaders versed in innovation techniques. By utilising these existing tools, social intrapreneurs can not only avoid reinventing the proverbial wheel, but also talk in language understood by business leaders.
  3.    Partnering to cement and stabilise– social intrapreneurs are often lone workers within businesses who aren’t necessarily equipped with entrepreneurial experience. By partnering externally with already successful social entrepreneurs: learning, insight and much needed peer support can be given. Furthermore, partnering intrapreneurial propositions with external organisations was cited as a key way to create internal buy in, unlock funding and maintain momentum after the exciting first few months of development have worn off.

Watch the video of the panel’s full discussion above, and learn more about our Challenge on Corporate Social Innovation Systems here.

The face-to-face event was followed by an open online discussion on the same topic.

“It was a privilege to join the panel at Skoll World Forum alongside the League of Intrapreneurs, Pearson and Johnson & Johnson. I was inspired to hear from the growing ecosystem of social entrepreneurs, the investor community, corporates and NGOs. Through the Social Innovation Facility at Barclays, we are proud to engage hundreds of intrapreneurs globally each year, developing talent and creating innovative financial products with a social or environmental impact.”

Emily Fry, AVP, Social Innovation, Barclays

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