23 Top documentaries for entrepreneurs.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, there’s no shortage of inspirational content to consume here we have the top documentaries for entrepreneurs.
But if you’re looking for something different, why not try a documentary?
Watching entrepreneur and business-related documentaries allow you to witness the challenges of others and accordingly reflect on your situation, empathize with their struggles and observe how they overcome hardships.
We all know the feeling. You’ve been working on your startup for what feels like forever, with very little to show.
You’re tired, frustrated, and starting to wonder if this whole entrepreneurship thing is worth it.
If you’re feeling stuck with business, you can take a step back and remind yourself of why you started down this path in the first place.
Fortunately, plenty of great documentaries out there do just that.
They tell the stories of entrepreneurs who have faced insurmountable odds and come out on top.
They inspire, motivate, and remind us of what’s possible if we’re willing to work hard.
So pour yourself a cup of coffee, curl up on the couch, and check out one (or all!) of these must-see documentaries for entrepreneurs.
The New Breed (2020).
This documentary film features over 100 changemakers worldwide who are quizzed on how they would use business to fix some of the world’s most pressing problems.
They are also questioned about how far they will push their commitment to making a difference goes in creating a new wave of social entrepreneurship.
The 80-minute documentary is one of the top documentaries for entrepreneurs and captures the journey of compelling millennials as they start businesses to tackle social and environmental issues, including environmental pollution, homelessness, poverty, and environmental pollution.
The New Breed is a documentary with no talking heads, interviews, and voice-overs.
All dialogue in this documentary comes from authentic meetings each entrepreneur has with their stakeholders worldwide.
The film also includes short sketches led by comedians, musicians, and academics, illuminating the global forces that have triggered this movement and ultimately tackling topics like colonialism, inequality, and ‘the history of poverty in simple, fun, and easily understandable ways.
Thus, what makes this documentary, so special and worth watching is its ability to demonstrate the potential of social entrepreneurship to change the world for the better radically.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2019).
If you’re looking for an entertaining but also informative documentary series to watch, look no further than Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.
The series tells the story of the infamous Fyre Festival. This luxury music festival was supposed to take place on a private island in the Bahamas but ended as a total disaster.
The festival was promoted as a “once in a lifetime” experience, with tickets starting at $1,500.
But when people arrived on the island, they found that the accommodations were barely livable, the food was disgusting, and no music or entertainment was scheduled.
The series is a fascinating look at what happens when things go wrong, and it’s worth watching if you’re interested in entrepreneurship or marketing.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room (2005)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a documentary filmed in 2005 about the Enron Corporation, its corruption, and the Enron scandal. The film was directed by Alex Gibney and produced by Jason Blum.
The documentary premiered at the famous Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2005, and was released in theaters on April 15, 2005.
The documentary was later nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
This documentary is based wholly on a book of the same name by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind.
It tells the story of Enron from its rise to its collapse and features interviews with former Enron employees and executives, journalists, government officials, and academic experts.
The film is considered one of the greatest documentaries ever made about business and corporate corruption.
Capital C (2015).
This was one of the first documentaries on the crowdfunding phenomenon.
The film features three would-be entrepreneurs who look to succeed in making their dreams a reality with the help of people they don’t know via the Internet.
Industry experts analyze additional features such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe.
What makes this documentary special is that it shows the power and aptitude of crowdfunding and how it can help businesses and ideas lift off from the ground and succeed.
Apart from focusing on hopes and dreams, it also features the fears and pitfalls of independent creators in the wake of the digital age.
This movie also features interviews with influential personalities such as Seth Godin, Felix Salmon, and David Weinberger.
Becoming Warren Buffett (2017).
If you’re interested in learning more about Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, and entrepreneur, then you should watch the TV series Becoming Warren Buffett.
The series tells the story of Buffett’s life and career, from his early days as a small-time investor to his current position as one of the richest men in the world.
The series is a great opportunity to learn more about Buffett’s investing strategy and provides some interesting insights into his personal life and motivations.
If you’re interested in entrepreneurship or investing, then Becoming Warren Buffett is worth watching.
Code girl (2015).
This nearly 2 hours long documentary film tells us the story of high school-aged girls from around the world trying to improve their community through technology and collaboration.
From urban Brazil to rural Moldova to suburban Massachusetts, this documentary follows teams of girls who dream of growing in the world’s fastest-growing industry.
The winning team gets $10,000 to release their app, but every girl discovers something valuable.
Overcoming stereotypes is one of the defining elements in this documentary, as the girls try to find their place in a male-dominated industry.
Directed by Lesley Chilcott, this heartfelt documentary inspired girls around the world.
It was selected for various film festivals and awards as well.
This documentary Addresses the gender imbalance in tech. It encourages more young women to pursue tech-related degrees, making it a one-of-a-kind film that is worth a watch.
The Social Network (2010).
Ok this one isn’t actually a documentary its a film but deserves a mention.
This Oscar-winning film tells the story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of the social media giant.
While it may not be an uplifting tale, per se, it’s an incredibly fascinating look at what it takes to build a business from scratch—and how to weather the storms that come with success.
Silicon Cowboys (2016).
The Silicon Cowboys TV series tells the story of the founding of Compaq, one of the world’s first successful personal computer companies.
The series chronicles the company’s humble beginnings, as well as its eventual rise to power and success.
If you’re interested in entrepreneurship or learning more about the early days of the computer industry, then Silicon Cowboys is definitely worth watching.
This doc chronicles the rise and fall of govWorks.com, a startup that was founded in the early days of the dot-com boom and raised over $60 million in just a few short months.
But as quickly as things were going up, they came crashing down just as fast—a helpful reminder that even the most promising businesses can fail if they’re not managed properly.
American Factory (2019).
The TV series American Factory follows the story of a Chinese company that opens a factory in Dayton, Ohio.
The series provides an interesting look at the clash between Chinese and American business cultures and the challenges of running a factory in the United States.
If you’re interested in entrepreneurship or in learning more about the global economy, then American Factory is definitely worth watching.
Print the legend (2014).
Print the legend is an American documentary television series.
It follows the story of a town in upstate New York where a century-old printing company is forced to close its doors.
The series documents the attempt of the town’s residents to save their community by repurposing the old printing factory to create a new local economy.
If you’re interested in entrepreneurship or in learning more about the difficulties of transitioning from a traditional economy to a digital one, then Print the legend is definitely worth watching.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2013).
This 80-minute documentary follows the approaching retirement of a sushi chef, Jiro Ono, as he carefully prepares his son to take over the business.
This film has a lot to unpack, but one key takeaway is that charging higher prices doesn’t necessarily require adding more bells and whistles.
Ono’s strategy involves an unwavering commitment to quality and perfection.
This approach is much harder to scale.
Yet, when you’re charging $300 a plate, you can afford to maintain a relatively small operation and still be a huge success.
Released in 2012, this documentary has received countless praise from critics.
Burts Buzz (2013).
Burts Buzz is a new documentary TV series that tells the story of Burt Zucker, a man who risked it all to start his own business.
The series follows Burt as he starts his business from scratch and deals with the challenges and hardships that come with being an entrepreneur.
If you’re interested in entrepreneurship or in learning more about what it actually takes to start your own business, then Burts Buzz is definitely worth watching.
Betting on Zero (2016).
Betting on Zero is a great documentary that tells the story of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
The series provides an in-depth look at the events that led to the crash, as well as the government’s attempt to bail out the banks.
If you’re interested in entrepreneurship or learning more about the global economy, then Betting on Zero is definitely worth watching.
This is a documentary series by Station F and Le Studio about building a startup, and the result is called Foundation.
It’s a personal and honest documentary series that follows five entrepreneurs working for four start-ups amid their work issues, emotional reactions, and personal life throughout their venture.
All five entrepreneurs are from the Founder’s Program at STATION F. The film features their daily lives, from STATION F to San Francisco, over five months.
What makes this documentary so special is that it provides an insight into the startup life at STATION F, which is s the biggest startup campus in the world.
House of Z (2017).
This Documentary film gives us a look into the life of Zac Posen, a pioneer in the world of fashion, chronicling the designer’s rise, fall, and rebirth.
This fashion documentary is an excellent portrait of youth strength and determination when driven by passion, one of the key phenomena in successful entrepreneurship ventures.
And thus, this is what makes this documentary film one of a kind; its ability to show how creativity, passion, and entrepreneurship led to the birth of one of the world’s most famous brands, inspiring many others with hard work and dedication, they too can achieve their dreams.
Elon Musk: How I became the Real ‘Iron Man (2018).
“Bloomberg Risk Takers” series Elon Musk: How I became the Real ‘Iron Man’ gives us a glimpse of Elon Musk, the man behind PayPal, SolarCity, Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink, as one of the technological leaders of the 21st century.
Elon Musk is the archetypal serial entrepreneur, with a number of successes to his name in the form of startups and other projects that eventually led him to fame.
What makes this documentary so special is the message that big dreams and the determination to make them come true can even take you to Mars.
Startupland: a documentary film (2015).
This 2016 documentary film features an authentic and personal story of five CEOs trying to build their companies from ideas into viable and successful businesses.
It depicts the unglamorous lifestyles and risks these entrepreneurs must face to have a slim shot at becoming the best of the best.
The documentary film includes interviews and advice from tech luminaries such as the founders and co-founders of AOL, Reddit, LivingSocial, Eventbrite, MapQuest, VHX, 500 Startups, and many more.
What stands out about this film is that it empowers, educates, and inspires entrepreneurs globally.
Directed by Justin Gutwein, the film has an IMDb rating of 9.1!
Generation Startup (2016).
The Documentary film was directed by Academy Award-winner Cynthia Wade and award-winning filmmaker Cheryl Miller Houser.
This documentary shows the struggles and successes of six college graduates who put everything at risk to build startups in Detroit.
The film showcased 17 months during which these six young entrepreneurs struggled to make their business dreams a reality. The film is an honest look at what it takes to launch a startup.
It features aspects like urban revitalization, risk-taking, and diversity while delivering a vital call to action; with entrepreneurship at an all-time low, the country’s economic future is at stake.
What makes this documentary film so special is that it promotes an entrepreneurial spirit and encourages risk-taking for the revival of Detroit, which was on the verge of crumbling.
Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates (2019).
This three-part documentary TV series, Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, provides an intimate and unprecedented look at the mind of one of history’s most iconic and complex figures, Bill Gates.
The series provides a detailed look at the making of Microsoft, from its incorporation in 1975 to the present day, through the eyes of Gates himself.
The series also reveals new information about Gates’ personal life, such as his relationships with his wife and children and his thoughts on current events.
This TV series is so special because it offers an in-depth and unique perspective on Gates, which is not found in any other form of media.
The series was directed by Davis Guggenheim, a director who is known for his Award-winning Academy film, An Inconvenient Truth.
The Startup kids (2012).
The Startup Kids is a documentary that deals with web entrepreneurs, especially in the U.S and Europe.
The hour-long movie talks about how the founders of Vimeo, Dropbox, Soundcloud, Kiip, InDinero, Foodspotting, and others started their companies and lives as young entrepreneurs.
The documentary tells us that technology has opened doors for young entrepreneurs to start companies without previous access to a lot of resources and funding.
It has also made it easier to reach large groups of people without traditional marketing methods.
The film was directed by two Icelandic entrepreneurs, Vala Halldorsdottir and Sesselja Vilhjalmsdottir, who found their first company shortly after the economic collapse of Iceland and wanted to motivate other young people to become successful entrepreneurs as well.
The film gives you a peek inside the minds of the most inspiring entrepreneurs of today and how they became successful at such a young age.
Something Ventured (2011).
This 2011 film tells the stories of some of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capitalists, including Kleiner Perkins’s partner, Tom Perkins, and Intel founder Gordon Moore.
Something Ventured paints a picture of Silicon Valley in its early days—where risk-taking was encouraged, and startups were nurtured and supported by experienced investors.
This is the film for you if you’re looking for a dose of Silicon Valley nostalgia.
Startup U (2015).
Startup U is a reality TV show that follows a group of aspiring entrepreneurs as they attend Silicon Valley’s prestigious Draper University.
The show offers viewers an in-depth, up close, and personal look at what it takes to launch a startup—from coming up with an idea to pitching investors to building a team—all while living together in an “entrepreneurship Bootcamp.” If you’re looking for some entertainment with your entrepreneurial motivation, Startup U is worth checking out.
Whatever you’re going through as an entrepreneur, know that you’re not alone—and plenty of people have been through it before (and come out on top).
So pour yourself a cup of coffee, curl up on the couch, and check out one (or all!) of these five must-see documentaries for entrepreneurs; they might give you the motivation you need to keep going.