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Intrapreneurship takes off in Turkey

  • 03.01.2018

Can fostering employee creativity accelerate internal innovation? At Türk Ekonomi Bankasi (TEB), BNP Paribas’s subsidiary in Turkey, intrapreneurship helps to boost the company’s agility so it can design tomorrow’s banking services. Below, we focus on the two flagship initiatives of this new ‘intrapreneurial’ ecosystem.

The Intrapreneurship Program—unleashing new talent at TEB

Intrapreneurship consists of encouraging employees to lead their own innovation projects within their company and in addition to their usual tasks. With the support of dedicated programs, employees become fully fledged entrepreneurs, overseeing their project from creation to deployment. 

Launched in 2014, TEB’s Intrapreneurship Program mobilizes employees to work on the bank’s strategic issues, such as digitalizing its banking services, so they get the push they need to dream up innovative solutions in key areas. If their project is selected for development, the intrapreneurs manage it from start to finish. Just like real entrepreneurs, they oversee feasibility studies, fundraising, concept development and even pitch it to a panel of experts—it’s all accounted for! 

With 336 candidates in 2017, up from 156 in 2015, the initiative is becoming more successful with every passing year.

A recognized intrapreneurial policy

When it comes to innovation and intrapreneurship, TEB is leading the way in Turkey. The subsidiary’s intrapreneurial approach notably featured as a case study in the prestigious Harvard Business Review. 

The TEB Hackathon—48 hours to succeed

Designed to accelerate the internal innovation process, every year, TEB’s Hackathon brings together the finalists of the Intrapreneurship Program. For intrapreneurs, this is a chance to team up with other TEB employees and get to work on their project. 

Over the course of two days, all project stakeholders—IT, legal, operational and other teams—help the intrapreneurs develop their projects further. Different tools are available to hammer out concepts and determine areas of improvement. For example, Business Model Canvas serves to assess the economic model of a new product or service by analyzing several criteria: value proposition, customer segmentation, distribution channels, revenue sources, cost structures, etc. 

How to convince a Dragon?

Alongside the Hackathon, employees can receive further training in design thinking, creative problem solving, and pitching techniques to expand their skills and develop their entrepreneurial skills.

At the end of this training, finalists present their pitch to a demanding panel: the so-called Dragon Jury, composed of members of management and external experts. Each winner is assigned a sponsor—typically a manager—who will coach the intrapreneur at every step in developing their project. 

Winners can then complete their training by visiting Silicon Valley and taking part in large-scale events dedicated to innovation, such as the VivaTechnology fair in Paris, while awaiting the official launch of their product and the start of another success story.

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