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Social intrapreneurship at Natura

Elisa de Resende Alt (Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK)
Heiko Spitzeck (Sustainability Research Center, Fundação Dom Cabral, São Paulo, Brazil)

Publication date: 25 November 2014


Subject area

Innovation and Intrapreneurship.

Study level/applicability

MSc, MBA and Executive Education Programmes.

Case overview

The case on Priscila Matta focuses on the role of social intrapreneurship and social inclusion at Natura, the largest cosmetics company in Brazil and a corporate responsibility leader. Centred in the complexity stemming from dealing with a local community which supplies key ingredients to the Ekos product line, the company's most prominent and innovative brand, it illustrates the difficulties of establishing inclusive forms of business with a traditional community in the northeast of Brazil. Ekos builds on the rich Brazilian biodiversity and traditional knowledge. Brazilian law requires Natura to share the benefits obtained from the access to genetic heritage and associated traditional knowledge with those communities who supply such resources. Implicitly, the case focuses on the role of the social intrapreneur – Priscila Matta – and how she navigated corporate politics to structure the company's community relations. The case demonstrates the difficulties of social intrapreneurs who aim to create sustainable innovations to execute shared value strategies.

Expected learning outcomes

The case has the following four learning objectives: to illustrate best practices in intrapreneurial activities that aim to create shared value – in this case, value for Natura and for the community; to define the role and characteristics of social intrapreneurs – people inside big corporations who drive sustainable innovation; to discuss obstacles the corporate environment presents in the process of social innovation; and to illustrate how individuals within companies can implement a shared value strategy.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.



The case has been compiled from publicly available sources, and from interviews with Karine Basso (ex Natura) and Priscila Matta at Natura.


Alt, E.d.R. and Spitzeck, H. (2014), "Social intrapreneurship at Natura", , Vol. 4 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Elisa Alt and Heiko Spitzeck

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