15 podcasts for social entrepreneurs

Whether you’re a seasoned social entrepreneur or simply curious about social impact, we have a podcast for you.

Looking for some inspiration on the go? This week, we’re talking podcasts, free radio shows you can download on your phone, tablet or computer. Load them up on your phone and take them on a walk or on a long drive. Listen while you cook or get ready in the morning. Some podcasts feature interviews with experts and thought leaders, keeping you abreast of what’s happening in the social impact space. Others deep dive into cutting-edge research, providing practical tools and best practices.

Whether you’re a seasoned social entrepreneur or simply curious about social impact, we have a podcast for you.

Social enterprise

The Social Enterprise Podcast — Hosted by Rupert Scofield, author of The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook, this podcast features interviews with established entrepreneurs who offer insights into how to start, build and run a social enterprise.

Do Good Better — Real talk about social innovation. Sometimes host Trina Isakson interviews expert guests, sometimes she answers listener Q&A and sometimes she just rants. This podcast is geared toward social innovators, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders.

The Impact Podcast — Host Neetal Parekh explores social innovation through interviews with social entrepreneurs, impact investors, filmmakers, attorneys and professors. Discussions range from business to tech, from law to the media, all centered around the common theme of social impact.

Social Entrepreneur Podcast — This weekly series is tailored to early-stage and aspiring social entrepreneurs. Interviews with founders, investors and thought leaders always end with a call to action.

Social Innovation Conversation — Download panels and speeches from Stanford Social Innovation Review. Experts in government, nonprofit and business bring together research and practice to tackle issues like human rights, revenue generating models and impact investing.

The Changemakers Podcast — This is a podcast about female entrepreneurs, with inspiring stories of women changing the world.

SproutCast — Through chats with social entrepreneurs and purpose leaders, SproutCast offers actionable tips and strategies on creating, growing and managing nonprofits.

General business

The $100 MBA — This daily podcast offers 10-minute business lessons from the real world. No backstories or self-promotion, just quick and dirty tips on business, marketing, tech and more.

NPR’s How I Built This — 30 minute interviews with entrepreneurs, changemakers and idealists, including the founders of innovative brands like Patagonia, AirBnB and Warby Parker.

HBR Ideacast — Just what you’d expect from Harvard Business Review’s Podcast — a cerebral take on cutting-edge business practices. It can feel a bit self-promotional, with Harvard authors plugging their own books, but the insights tend to be good nonetheless.

The social world

TED Radio Hour: Based on talks from TED events, each show is centered on a common theme, like power shifts, crowdsourcing innovation and the source of happiness. Each episode is an hour-long celebration of new ways of thinking, brilliant inventions and fresh approaches to old problems.

This American Life: This one is tough to describe, because This American Life covers just about everything. Each episode centers on a theme, using first-person storytelling and monologues to describe and document contemporary American life.

Invisibilia: Part science, part storytelling, Invisibilia delves into the invisible forces controlling human behavior. Each episode explores questions like “Do clothes have the power to transform us?” and “Are there problems we don’t have to solve?”

Freakonomics — This is the least relevant podcast in the list, but one of my all-time favorites. Freakonomics explores the riddles of everyday life through a social scientist’s lens. Host Stephen Dubner talks with entrepreneurs, economists, Nobel laureates, psychologists and everyday people. Learn “how to win games and beat people,” “ten ideas to make politics less rotten” and everything in between.

Humanosphere — Humanosphere is for people who “give a damn.” Journalist Tom Paulson deep dives into the aid industry, unpacking issues of global health and the fight against poverty.

Next time you’re stuck in traffic or walking to work, cue up one of these podcasts to turn your passive time into a learning opportunity.

What are your favorite podcasts? Let us know in the comments below.