We found an alternative to giving out equity to intrapreneurs

One question I sometimes get from applicants to the position of the Travel Intrapreneur is, “as an Intrapreneur, do I get equity in the newly formed company?”.

Simply put, we do not give equity to Intrapreneurs.

We have an alternative that we believe works even better.

Why don’t you give out shares to Intrapreneurs?

The benefits of having equity in something that you are also responsible for seems, on the face of it, to be obvious. If you have stakes in something, you are more likely to be dedicated to its well-being, ensuring long-lasting interest and increased enthusiasm. While this is partly true, there is a significant drawback: it is only motivational for the time that you’re involved in the project.

In my experience, I have found that in many instances when people leave the company they have shares in, the shares they own start to be seen as a value they want to cash in. And this is where the problem starts.

Suddenly, instead of working on the best possible product for our clients, we would start discussing the value of shares. To the detriment of the brand, focus then starts to become short-term, while at Ventura we always work on a long-term strategy.

Finally, the widely held belief that an Intrapreneur would work longer for a company if she would own shares in the company is not proven. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. A brief amount of research shows that people leave their positions not for more money, but rather higher job satisfaction, a better atmosphere, different colleagues, among other things.

What is the alternative to giving equity?

Starting a new brand takes blood, sweat and tears. We firmly believe that our Intrapreneurs deserve not just recognition from their clients and the industry, but also a healthy financial reward. That’s why, instead of earning equity when the brand begins to make profit, our Intrapreneurs are already receiving financial reward through the revenue of the brand.

This, we believe, is smarter in the long term. As a company, we are not driven by profit, but rather by our values and our purpose. If an Intrapreneur participates solely seeking profit, we believe that to be short-sighted and harmful in the long-term. By looking at revenue and not profit, we eliminate the focus on certain costs and, therefore, reduce the temptation to cut costs in an effort to increase short-term profit. This often comes at the detriment of the product itself and, therefore, the long term goals of Ventura.

On top of this, our Intrapreneurs don’t just profit from their own brand’s success, but also participate toward the overall well-being of Ventura. 30% of the company’s profit is being paid out to our employees. As an effect of this we avoid creating independent business islands and instead build a network of brands that are willing to help each other out.

Finally, our Intrapreneurs get a financial compensation – based on how their brand is doing – for up to 2 years after they left Ventura TRAVEL. This just seems to be fair to us: if an Intrapreneur is building something from the ground up, she/he should benefit from the success over her/his time within the company.

So, is this working out?

Being driven by a purpose and thinking long term instead of short term is paying dividends. With our approach we are attracting exactly the kind of people we’re seeking. That is, people who share our vision and our standpoint on CSR and sustainability. We have written already about the huge amount of applications we are getting, and by today we already have passed the 1200 applications mark.

We believe that the offer we are giving is highly attractive, as we provide:

  • Entrepreneurial freedom (ie intrapreneur decides on brand name, logo, brand strategy)
  • financial investments (without having to look for an investor)
  • participation on success even after leaving the project (without owning equity)
  • being in a team of highly talented and motivated people to learn from
  • working for something of value & with a purpose instead of optimizing only for profit

Are you entrepreneurial-minded? Do you have a passion for a travel niche? Are you interested in authentic & responsible travel that will have a positive long term impact on the industry? Then please get in touch with us.