6 films about entrepreneurs that will motivate you to achieve your goals

18/11/2021 | Santander Universidades

According to the 5th Young Business Talents Report, 35.2% of young people would like to start up their own business, but only 7% actually do so after leaving university. This is down to the obstacles they face, such as funding, government policies or social and cultural norms.

Sacrifice, innovation, motivation and creativity are key elements for those who want to set up their own project. But maybe you could do with some inspiration? The world of cinema can provide you with many answers, since films about entrepreneurs are one more tool to be inspired by. Learn about the entrepreneurs’ background, fight to achieve your goals, and sooner or later you'll get the well-deserved rewards.

That's why, whether you’re thinking of starting up your own business or have already done so, we recommend you make yourself some popcorn, grab the remote control and put on one of these films about entrepreneurs that are sure to motivate you and help you to achieve your goals.

The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardner, played by Will Smith, is a young divorced father whose huge investment in a business venture—a portable bone density scanner—leaves him totally destitute. Despite the difficulties, Chris continues to visit hundreds of clinics with the aim of selling his product, at the same time securing a stockbroker internship, where he will demonstrate his worth and his amazing business acumen.

The Pursuit of Happyness is without doubt a film that highlights some of the most vital values and skills when it comes to entrepreneurship. Chris' struggle and sacrifice, together with the creativity and innovation of his business idea, are truly inspiring.

Don’t ever let somebody tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.”

Chris Gardner. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
films about entrepreneurs

Jobs (2013)

If you still don't know the story of Steve Jobs and the hugely successful multinational Apple, then don't miss "Jobs", a film released in 2013. The film tells the story of how Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher), together with his partner Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), created one of the first personal computers in his parents' garage. It also reveals the rest of Apple's success story up to the 90s.

This film about entrepreneurs once again shows that innovation, enthusiasm and sacrifice can take on anything: two young guys with little to no money manage to build an empire from scratch. It's also an example that illustrates how failures are an opportunity to learn and move forward.

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. Because they change things - they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius."

Steve Jobs. Jobs (2013)

The Social Network

Another of the most inspiring entrepreneur films of recent years is "The Social Network", based on real events. It depicts the story of how Facebook came to be: a young, talented Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), still a Harvard undergrad, sits in front of his computer developing his latest idea, which he names "Facebook".

What started out as a small but innovative idea turned into one of the biggest multinationals of all time, with over 3 billion users around the globe. Again, innovation and not giving up in the face of adversity show us that where there's a will, there's a way.

"We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we're going to live on the internet!"

Mark Zuckerberg. The Social Network (2010)
films about entrepreneurs

Coach Carter

Coach Carter is a bit different from the other films on this list. This sports drama tells the story of a youth basketball team, fallen on hard times, which manages to change tack thanks to its new coach, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson). With him at the helm, the players change their mentality and playing style, transforming into a winning team both on and off the court.

This film stresses values such as teamwork, respect, perseverance and sacrifice. It also highlights how a great leader can bring out the best in individuals to achieve common goals. Despite not being a business-centred film, several valuable lessons can be taken away from it that can definitely be applied to your career.

"Starting today, you will play like winners, act like winners, and most importantly, you will be winners."

Ken Carter. Coach Carter (2005)


Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) is an unemployed single mother of three. In spite of the difficulties she has to face, she is determined to make a success of her revolutionary idea: the Miracle Mop, a practical, ingenious mop with cotton fringes that turns her into a successful businesswoman.

This fast-paced story shows the importance of following your own path, having confidence in yourself and believing in your ideas, even when no one around you does. It's also an example of feminism and empowerment, which demonstrates that anyone can set up their own business.

"You've got to do what you love".

Joy Mangano. Joy (2015)

The Bookshop

The last entrepreneur film on this list is “The Bookshop”. This film is set in a small English village called Harborough, where Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) decides to fulfil her and her late husband's dream: to open a bookshop far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Precisely this condition will put some obstacles in her way, because the locals reject some of the bookshop's activities.

This is another great example of female entrepreneurship and what an entrepreneurial attitude looks like. A lesson in never giving up and always forging ahead.

"Let me tell you what it is I admire about human beings. What I value most is the one virtue they share with gods and animals, and which I will therefore no longer refer to as a virtue. I mean... courage. And you, Mrs. Green, possess that quality in abundance. "

Bill Nighy. The Bookshop (2017)

To start up or not to start up? That is the question.

In these films about entrepreneurs, we are shown the importance of attitude, together with effort, a great idea and the right skills, in achieving success.

These inspirational stories, taken to the big screen, are an example of how knowledge and innovative ideas prove fundamental for a business to get started, but how without the right personal skills it might fail. Hence the importance of enhancing or acquiring the necessary skills to start up your own business.

That’s why, to help people progress, overcome the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution and grow in an inclusive, sustainable way, Banco Santander is committed to continuous learning, professional retraining and further training, three key concepts to boost people's employability and progress. To this end, it spearheads the Santander Open Academy, a unique, global and pioneering programme from which over 75,000 people have already benefited.

If you're looking to continue to grow both personally and professionally, head over to the Santander Open Academy site, where you'll find 100s of opportunities to train through internationally renowned establishments. Access training in technology, languages, research, investigation, soft skills, practicum, and female leadership, which will help you to enhance your employability or take your career in a new direction.

Want to become a lifelong learner and increase your job opportunities? The Santander Open Academy site offers plenty of options for you to achieve your goals. Browse the site and remember, you can sign up for as many programmes as you like.  Make the most of this opportunity!

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