Our Perfect Guest
Who is the perfect guest on Social Entrepreneur? We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.
We are currently accepting pitches for Season Five, coming in the fall of 2021. The theme is “Stories of fundraising – what worked and what didn’t.” We want to hear stories of fundraising, from friends and family to Series A and beyond.
The good news: With more than half a million downloads in over 180 countries, Social Entrepreneur ranks in the top 1% of podcasts globally.
The bad news: We receive between three and five guest pitches every day.
Better news: We’re clear on who we’re looking for as a guest. It’s not always the biggest names or the most popular people.
Here is who we are looking for as a guest:
Guests should meet four criteria:
- Underrepresented voices
- Sustainable business model
- Social or environmental impact baked into their business
- Linked to the Sustainable Development Goals
We give priority to underrepresented voices such as women entrepreneurs, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ voices, and others who don’t normally get the spotlight. The venture capitalist Arlan Hamilton refers to them as the underestimated. We highlight the true hustlers, those who have overcome the most on their journey.
Sustainable Business Model
We want people who have a sustainable business model. We give preference to for-profit businesses. We will consider nonprofit businesses that sell a product or service to sustain their impact.
In season three, we are looking for businesses that intersect at purpose + product + profit.
Social Impact Baked Into Their Business Model
We are looking for businesses that have a social impact baked into their business model. It’s not an afterthought. It’s not just something they do in good times. It’s what they do.
Below are examples of businesses we have interviewed that make a difference with what they sell, what they share, how they staff, and how they source.
- What they sell: Sebastian Sajoux of Arqlite takes unrecyclable plastic and turns it into a product, smart gravel, that is highly desirable for construction companies. The more of the smart gravel they sell, the more significant impact they have.
- What they share: Susan Elwer of Spoonful Apparel was working as an assistant in a pre-school when she noticed that a 4-year-old student had gone the first three months of the school year without lunch. She launched Spoonful Apparel. They create clothing with inspiring messages and donates 50% of the profits to end childhood hunger.
- How they staff: Emily Hunt Turner of All Square staffs her grilled cheese sandwich shop with a criminal record. She runs an institute that removes the barrier to employment. The more people they train and employ, the greater their impact.
- How they source: Lee Wallace of Peace Coffee purchases 735,000 lbs. of coffee from 12 countries and 20 smallholder farmer cooperatives. In the process, Peace Coffee paid $370,000 in fair trade premiums. The more coffee they sell, the bigger their impact.
Linked to the Sustainable Development Goals
We are looking for people who are working to solve big problems, tied to sustainable development goals.
We look for solution-focused people. Our Guests are making a lasting difference through direct action.
What We Are Not Looking For:
Finally, here’s what we are NOT looking for: Coaches, Consultants, Online Communities, Agencies, and Advocates. With few exceptions, we don’t interview people who fit this description. If this is you, please don’t apply. Thanks.