7 of the Most Inspiring Films that Tackle Key Entrepreneurial Issues

7 of the Most Inspiring Films that Tackle Key Entrepreneurial Issues

Because of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, many people have found themselves with more free time than usual, including entrepreneurs. Any entrepreneur in this situation looking for some inspiration has a number of options, from online classes to books and podcasts.

Another resource that entrepreneurs should not overlook is film. While people may not immediately think of movies as a major source of entrepreneurial inspiration, a number of films have important lessons for entrepreneurs. A great movie pulls the viewer into that world and can challenge them to think in new ways that will ultimately make them stronger in the business world—while being entertaining at the same time.

Some movies that entrepreneurs may want to check out include:

1. Joy

Jennifer Lawrence plays Joy Mangano, an extremely successful female entrepreneur, in this film. Mangano highlights the unique challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and provides a motivating framework for overcoming them. As individuals watch Mangano build her business empire, they see her confront stereotypes and disprove them.

Ultimately, the film demonstrates how to balance many simultaneous challenges and stay on the path toward personal goals. The film is based on the real-life story of a woman who broke the glass ceiling and has important lessons for virtually any entrepreneur.

2. Ford v. Ferrari

Starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon, Ford v. Ferrari is a period piece that highlights many of the common pitfalls of entrepreneurship. In the film, Henry Ford II becomes motivated by revenge to engineer a car that can compete with Ferrari designs.

The executives at Ferrari do not take this threat seriously and fail to brace for the repercussions of another competitor in the sports car market. At the same time, the Ford project ends up passing through middle managers, which creates serious problems and ends up limiting the company’s efficiency.

3. Adidas vs. Puma

This German film looks at the story behind two of the world’s leading shoe designers. This story involves a serious family feud that ends up pitting two brothers against each other and dividing the residents of their small hometown. This rivalry pushed both companies to achieve great things.

Entrepreneurs should take note of the drastically different approaches to business taken by each brother. Even with these very different philosophies, both companies achieved remarkable success. Still, the film challenges viewers to ask whether or not the companies would have been successful at all without the family rivalry.

4. Fyre Fraud

This Hulu documentary looks at the infamous Fyre Festival scam of 2017. Viewers can see an exclusive interview with Billy McFarland, the man who founded the festival and ended up defrauding investors of nearly $25 million. As a result, he was sentenced to a six-year prison sentence.

McFarland marketed the festival through false promises from the very beginning and focused more on getting influencers than working out logistics. The film shows that success requires much more than good advertising. However, Fyre Fraud also highlights the power of influencers in getting many of world’s biggest names involved with a project that had virtually no substance.

5. Hidden Figures

This award-winning movie tells the story of three African American women who get jobs as mathematicians at the NASA Langley Research Center in the 1960s. Each of these women fights against discrimination and prejudice in the office during a time when the United States was still segregated. Ultimately, the women overcome their barriers and their contribution is recognized.

The lesson that entrepreneurs can learn from this film is one of inclusivity. By bringing people with different backgrounds and experiences to the office, the entire team performs better. While the women in the film had to fight for their positions, they end up making the success of the whole team possible.

6. The New Breed

A new documentary release, The New Breed looks specifically at the social enterprise movement and follows three social entrepreneurs over the course of two years. During this time, the three entrepreneurs move from business plan to impact. Entrepreneurs can learn a great deal from the hiccups that these individuals face over this time.

One of the other reasons to watch The New Breed is to gain a better understanding of the global context of social entrepreneurship. Several short sketches throughout the film explore the various events across the world that have triggered this new movement.

7. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary that tells the story of one of the most acclaimed sushi chefs in the entire world. For decades, Jiro has worked to perfect his craft. Instead of turning to trends, he focuses on the traditional preparations of sushi and now has a Tokyo restaurant with three Michelin stars and a long waiting list.

Jiro’s approach to making sushi is almost an obsession, but seeing this is an important reminder that perfection does not simply happen. People have to work hard and remain diligent to come close to perfection. Moreover, the documentary is a reminder that hard work and perseverance really can pay off in the end.

About the Author

Joanna RileyJoanna (Jo) Riley is an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate in technology, and is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Censia. Jo has a highly experienced background in building and scaling companies, which she attributes to her deep passion for people and building technologies that allow people to be their best selves. She brings her wide knowledge of the industry to better transform the way enterprise companies hire talent. You can connect with Joanna Riley at @joannakiddriley on Twitter or on Linkedin. Read her full bio here.