Podcasts have become increasingly popular over the last few years, with Ofcom reporting that the number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years, from 3.2 million in 2013 to 5.9 million in 2018. But with so many great podcasts around, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you along, we’ve curated a list of the best business podcasts currently available, with quick summaries of each so that you can pick out those most suited to you. Here’s our shortlist:
Gimlet Media | Alex Blumberg | Best for: startup owners
Brought to you by Gimlet Media and hosted by Alex Blumberg, this podcast provides insight into the risks and rewards people have experienced when chasing their dreams. Special guests hail from a range of industries, including Andre Iguodala from the Golden State Warriors, Groupon’s Andrew Mason and Nasty Gal’s Sophia Amoruso. If you’re considering starting your own business or taking a leap of faith, this is a candid look at success, failure, and everything in between.
eBay & Gimlet Creative | John Henry | Best for: budding entrepreneurs
Open for Business is now in its second season, and the podcast centres around the topic of building a business from scratch. Hosted by entrepreneur John Henry, the episodes cover everything from setting prices, hiring staff, focusing on customer service, surviving failure and plenty more. Each episode also features a special guest who has succeeded in starting their own business. They join John to share the important lessons they’ve learned along the way, as well as letting listeners in on tricks and tips.
Creative Rebels | David Speed & Adam Brazier | Best for: creatives
David Speed and Adam Brazier, the co-founders of Graffiti Life and Parlour Tattoo, host this podcast aimed at those hoping to escape the 9-5 to start their own creative ventures. They're joined by guests who have themselves escaped the rat race to start their own creative line of work. From Emma Gannon to Madeleine Shaw and Pip Jamieson, every episode provides a unique story and insight into what it’s really like to follow your passion. It’s a must for any creative entrepreneur.
Matt D'Avella | Best for: those seeking inspiration
This is a weekly podcast run by Matt D’Avella. Each week, Matt sits down with rappers, athletes and comedians, amongst many more, to talk about their journeys. The candid conversations bring up how they got where they are today and how they overcame adversity to pursue their passion. Recent episodes include ‘Reframing Failure’ with Caroline Zook and ‘Success Doesn’t Equal Happiness’ with Alex Banayan.
Bloomberg | Francesca Levy & Rebecca Greenfield | Best for: procrastinators
Bloomberg’s podcast looks at the subject of productivity, covering how to mix business with friendship, how to find a mentor, and even how to make boring meetings more exciting. Hosted by Francesca Levy and Rebecca Greenfield, each episode involves one of the pair trying to solve a work-related problem. The experimental nature of the episodes means that listeners can find authentic and realistic ways to improve their approach to work and break down productivity barriers.
Shopify | Felix Thea | Best for: ecommerce businesses
Felix Thea hosts this ecommerce marketing podcast which features expert tips on how to build, launch and grow a successful online store. Felix invites ecommerce entrepreneurs to join him on the show for an exploration of how they built a profitable online business. However, you don't need to be in ecommerce to learn something new, with topics ranging from ‘Thinking Outside of Your Industry for Unique Product Ideas’ and ‘A Quiz-Powered Approach to Email Marketing’, making this an excellent resource for any business owner to dip into.
The Guardian | Anushka Asthana | Best for: keeping up with current affairs
If you’re a UK business owner but are too busy to keep up with the latest, this is a great daily resource to tune into during your commute or whenever you have a spare few minutes. The Guardian’s Today in Focus podcast delves deeper into the stories behind the headlines and takes a closer look what’s dominating the UK news. It’s a great resource to keep in mind if your business relies heavily on custom within the UK, or if you just want to stay in the know.
Freakonomics | Stephen J. Dubner | Best for: curious minds
This podcast is brought to you by Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the bestselling Freakonomics books which investigate everyday riddles to turn conventions on their head. In a similar vein, the podcast explores a wealth of subjects, such as 'How to Become Great at Just About Anything', 'How to Fail like a Pro', and 'Why a Good Idea Is Not Good Enough'. Weekly guests also feature the likes of Nobel Laureates, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, making this podcast a must for any business owner who wants to think outside the box.
BBC Radio 4 | Tim Harford | Best for: deep thinkers
Brought to you by BBC Radio 4 and hosted by Tim Harford, this is another fantastic resource for business owners who want to expand their minds. In the series, Tim investigates the numbers and statistics that influence how we make decisions and view the world. Episodes delve into the statistics behind the affairs that keep our world ticking, from why maths mistakes can cause big problems to an insight into if women are really less likely than men to be hired for jobs in technology.
One Girl Band | Lola Hoad | Best for: female sole traders / micro-businesses
This is a podcast aimed at female entrepreneurs and business women who work for and by themselves. Host Lola invites guests to speak about mindset, self-care, confidence and the technical side of running a small business, covering content marketing, setting goals and much more. It’s a one-stop-shop for any female small business owner who wants to hear the stories of those in a similar boat, providing a space for empowerment and support.
If you’ve found this shortlist useful, take a look at our article highlighting the top sales podcasts of 2019. Or, browse our top 20 business blogs of 2019, featuring the cream of the crop when it comes to blogs, websites and online magazines for business owners.