The life of an entrepreneur comes with ups, downs, and lessons learned. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or have already started your own business, below are ten entrepreneur movies that will teach you about the good, bad, and ugly of maintaining a business.
Are you an entrepreneur?
Today’s youth is overflowing with an entrepreneurial spirit. 62% of millennials have considered starting their own business, while gen Z is projecting to become the most entrepreneurial generation in history.
Today, we have compiled ten entrepreneur movies that will inspire and inform everyone with dreams of owning their own business. In the hand-picked list below, you will find a fast-paced movie about the beginnings of a tech billionaire, a cautionary documentary about a notorious Silicon Valley businesswoman, and everything in between.
Check out ten of the most fascinating movies available that dive into the lives of entrepreneurs below.
Don’t forget to also check out our list of the best motivational business books for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur movies to inspire aspiring business owners
1. Steve Jobs (2015)
Michael Fassbender portrays Apple Inc’s massively influential co-founder Steve Jobs in this biographical drama. The film is based upon Steve Jobs’ authorized biography and covers some of Apple’s most formative years, from 1984-1998. How Apple began to craft its simplistic, yet detail-obsessed design, as well as the roller coaster ride of Jobs’ rise to fame, are illustrated throughout the movie.
Steve Jobs was nominated for many awards in 2016, including the Academy Award for Best Actor, for Fassbender’s portrayal of Jobs. Kate Winslet also won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Joanna Hoffman, an early member of the Apple’s team.
2. The Founder (2016)
In The Founder, the American dream is shown through the rise of a highly recognizable American brand: McDonald’s. Michael Keaton stars at Ray Kroc, the businessman who helped popularize McDonald’s throughout America. From Kroc’s relationship with the McDonald’s brothers to the ins and outs of growing a franchise, The Founder looks at the passion and ambition it takes to grow a successful business.
Every emotion, from joy to betrayal, are all showcased here on the silver screen. As you watch the movie, you may find yourself evaluating the decisions of the main characters and wondering if you would do the same in their shoes.
3. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019)
The HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley takes a look at the life of Elizabeth Holmes, once regarded by Forbes as the richest self-made female billionaire, and her now-defunct company, Theranos.
The doc takes a hard look at the many scandals that surrounded the company and Holmes herself. From the number of high-profile investors to the off-the-wall claims the company made, this wild ride is captivating from start to finish.
4. Hitsville: The Making of Motown (2019)
The life and career of Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records and one of music’s most successful record executives, is detailed in Hitsville: The Making of Motown.
From artist development to Gordy’s push for the integration of Black music, Hitsville: The Making of Motown discusses the many business practices that Gordy implemented to make Motown into one of the most successful African-American companies of all time. Gordy has managed many legendary, successful Black artists including Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and The Temptations.
5. The Social Network (2010)
Starring Jesse Eisenburg as Mark Zuckerburg, The Social Network follows the meteoric rise of the massively popular social networking site Facebook. A main component of the movie is the interactions between the site’s co-founders, including Zuckerburg, Eduardo Saverin, and Dustin Moskovitz.
In The Social Network, money is constantly changing how people perceive and treat those pulling strings behind the scenes of Facebook. As the movie progresses, money even changes how the founders interact and value each other. As the movie’s striking poster reminds us, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” The Social Network won Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score in 2011.
More entrepreneur movies to inspire you
6. Art & Copy (2009)
Ever wonder who made up such popular advertising slogans such as “Where’s The Beef?” and “Just Do It?”? If your answer was “yes”, Art & Copy is going to be your kind of documentary.
The 2009 doc follows the lives of prominent advertising professionals, including the story behind their most popular advertising campaigns. Advertising is an integral part of business, and this doc puts you in the shoes of some of the most successful to ever do it.
7. Startup.com (2001)
Startup.com puts a spotlight on the rise and fall of one of the many businesses to gain momentum during the dot-com bubble, govWorks.com. Filming took place over two years and 400 hours of video were shot and edited from.
The documentary presents the birth of digital media and the humble beginnings of how business took over the World Wide Web. As the doc displays govWorks.com from its founding to its eventual bankruptcy, there are many lessons to be learned from both govWorks.com’s successes and missteps.
8. She Did That (2019)
She Did That takes a look at entrepreneurialism through the eyes of black female business owners. The film showcases the pursuit of professionals from different industries including Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter, Melissa Butler, founder of The Lip Bar, Tonya Rapley, founder of My Fab Finance, and Luvvie Ajayi, a New York Times best-selling author.
These business-minded women have a laser focus on their goals, which will leave you feeling inspired to be ambitious and pursue your million-dollar idea.
9. Boiler Room (2000)
Starring Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, and Nia Long, Boiler Room explores the dark side of business and the corruption that can lie within cutthroat industries, like selling stock. The film focuses on the life of 19-year-old college drop out, Seth, and how he climbed the ranks of a brokerage firm.
With entrepreneurial success, comes moral dilemmas that every business owner deals with. Boiler Room showcases the dichotomy that lives within a business, whether it is between right and wrong or generosity and greed. It can be difficult to make the right decision, and the film’s characters personalize that constant internal struggle within their portrayals.
10. Chef (2014)
Chef displays the entrepreneurial epiphany that many people experience when they choose to move from a 9 to 5 to their own business venture. Starring Jon Favreau, Chef is a story about a chef named Carl Casper who is lacking fulfillment in his job working for a high-profile Los Angeles restaurant.
After a public confrontation with a food critic, Casper is pushed to start his own food truck and, in the process, falls in love with cooking once again. Although Casper seems to accidentally fall into becoming an entrepreneur, his search for creative control and love of cuisine makes him favor one method over the other.
Which of these entrepreneur movies are you planning to watch?
The films above feature entrepreneurship from every angle, including creativity, controversy, success, and failure. From documentaries to feature films, each project offers something new for entrepreneurs to learn from it. These exciting, hilarious, often-true stories showcase that with enough drive and ambition, anything is possible.
What’s your favorite movie about entrepreneurship? What kind of movies should we showcase next? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!