What is Extrapreneurship?

Sahara Group Foundation

Sahara Group Foundation

Sahara Group Foundation is the Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility vehicle for Sahara Group - a leading Oil & Gas, Energy, and Infrastructure conglomerate.

A lot has been written and said about entrepreneurship. It is based on a simple principle: identify a need, meet it and make money. For example, Tolu lives in Lagos. On his street and around his neighborhood, there are many busy working class residents. Tolu overhears two of his neighbours complaining about making the 15-minute drive to the nearest drycleaner who has been disappointing and missing delivery deadlines. Tolu realizes there is a need for a drycleaner in his neighbourhood. So, he starts a dry-cleaning business, solves his neighbours’ dry-cleaning problems and smiles to the bank. So, an entrepreneur renders a needed service or supplies a needed product and gets paid for it.

Entrepreneurship is a great idea and through it, a lot of problems have been solved and so many lives made easier. I mean, imagine the world without Google. God forbid we be taken back to such a time. The entrepreneurs who founded Google have solved such a great problem we can’t even begin to quantify.

Times are changing so fast and the world of work is evolving dramatically with the changes. These changing work environment has also birthed a new breed of employees referred to as Intrapreneurs. An intrapreneur behaves like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization.

Howbeit, there is a third group of problem solvers who combine the features of entrepreneurship and intraprenuership to create solutions. They are called Extrapreneurs.

Extrapreneurs are unique from entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs primarily because of the feature of collaboration. Collaboration is the secret ingredient to the success of an extrapreneurship venture. Extrapreneurs find common grounds and innovations that can change the community. Collaboration reduces the risks of failure of a project or venture.

In addition, the collaborative nature of extrapreneurship means the extrapreneur is not the only beneficiary of the venture. As a matter of fact, extrapreneurship has an underlying advantage of benefiting communities through shared value or benefits.

According to Dave Algoso, extrapreneurs create things in a space that transcends any one agency. Extrapreneurship is a partnership approach that goes beyond co-ordination or co-branding. It starts with the network and leverages the factors above to create a disproportionately greater development impact.

The following is an excerpt from an article on extrapreneurship which captures the idea;

“social extrapreneurs can be characterized as working in and between organizations and networks not only to create novel solutions but to develop a range of support and sustenance mechanisms and social change ecosystems.

Social extrapreneurs can be found in government, academia, the private sector and network organizations. They shoal and coalesce in the pursuit of social impact. They pull ideas, people and resources together to create the environment for doing well and good to ensure social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs are stimulated, supported and sustained.”

CcHub, for example, is a venture that provides a platform for collaboration among people to create solutions to social problems.

Sahara Foundation has also launched the Saharahub, a virtual platform for collaboration among young people for the accomplishment of sustainable solutions to social problems. The platform will enable young people form idea clusters, collaborate on projects and ventures, get funding and seed investment and receive mentorship from well-established business leaders. The Foundation, through Saharahub, will connect social innovators to the cross-sectoral partners and networks of Sahara Group to facilitate business growth. Through the platform, investors and potential partners can identify ideas and projects they will like to invest in.

Extrapreneurship is here to stay. And I dare say, this is the way going forward for individuals and businesses.

Share your thoughts about this concept with me in the comment section below or on the forum. We would like to read your thought on this.

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