From the top · 20 September 2017

The ten best films for entrepreneurs every aspiring business owner should watch

Fresh Popcorn in a Large Popcorn Box
How many of our ten best films for entrepreneurs have you seen?

For those thinking of starting a business, seeing an inspiring film could just be the kick-start needed to get your idea of the ground. Here are ten of the best films for entrepreneurs searching for insight and incentive.

The Social Network

Social networkThe 2010 biographical film The Social Network, by David Fincher, about the rise of Facebook and its enigmatic founder Mark Zuckerberg, is a must-see for entrepreneurs.

The film dramatises the personal and professional struggles of one of the world’s most famous startup founders at the start of his career, giving viewers an insight into what it might take to become the world’s youngest billionaire.

Apart from learning from Zuck’s experience, the somewhat ruthless story of Facebook’s origins reveals a lot about the importance of strong relationships between business partners, and how personal ambition can sometimes get in the way of friendships.

Joy

JoyAspiring entrepreneurs should see this brilliant film (that mostly went under the radar) about starting your own business from scratch, even when you don’t have the support of family and friends.

Joy, a 2015 film by David O’Russell, is based on the true story of Joy Mangano, a divorced mother of two who in 1990 became a millionaire after inventing the Miracle Mop – the world’s first self-ringing kitchen mop.

Played by Jennifer Lawrence, Mangano overcomes various personal and professional hurdles throughout the film that would otherwise ruin her if she didn’t have strong perseverance and unwavering self-belief. Joy is one of the best films for entrepreneurs because it teaches some important lessons for entrepreneurs of the risks sometimes involved with going into business with family.

Office Space

office-spaceOne of the main motivations for starting your own business can be because you hate working for someone else. In Office Space, the 1999 dark comedy by writer and director Mike Judge, entrepreneurs get a reminder as to why they should never settle for that awful corporate job.

Office worker Peter Gibbons undergoes hypnotherapy when he realises he despises his job – at fictional global software firm Initech – in which he’s been resigned to spending his days in a soul-destroying office cubicle.

When his therapist dies in his sleep, Gibbons remains in a trance and returns to work where, in his enlightened state, refuses to work overtime, plays games all day and charms his way into a management role.

The Pursuit of Happyness

HappynessBased on the life and early career of American businessman and stockbroker Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness is an inspiring 2006 film, starring Will Smith, about one salesman’s struggle in the face of poverty and single-parenthood.

To make a better life for him and his son, this true story sees Gardner – an uneducated but very clever man who becomes penniless and homeless – gain a place on a prestigious stock brokerage training programme, before working harder and smarter than his competition to eventually become employed full-time.

It’s one of the best films for entrepreneurs that emphasises the value of persistence, perseverance in the face of adversity and having a strong personal work ethic.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry-Glen-Ross-DIThe world of business and selling isn’t often plain sailing – it can be cutthroat and cruel. This 1992 film, based on the Pulitzer prize-winning play by David Mamet, shows would-be entrepreneurs just how ruthless business can be.

Glengarry Glen Ross takes a close look at the lies, deception and one-upmanship business people feel they need to endure every day in order to become successful, by delving into the bleak world shared by Chicago real estate salesman.

Continue reading for our final five best films for entrepreneurs in search of knowledge and inspiration.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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