A lot of business stories are documented in news and publications but that’s not the only source of non-fiction accounts. Documentaries are a really good source of information on a lot of business stories. What makes documentaries such a good information source is how much detail they can pack in while giving an up-close account. They give us a deeper understanding than we would get from other sources. Here I have compiled a list of 10 important business documentaries to watch. They are carefully selected to cover many matters we cover on this platform including startups, multi-level marketing (MLM), branding, manufacturing, crowdfunding and coaching.

Something ventured

This documentary looks at some of the most iconic names in technology including Apple, Intel, Atari, Google and Cisco. It looks at the ups and downs experienced by the founders and people who built these companies in the process of making some of the most important moves in technology as we know it today.

Generation Startup

This documentary follows the journeys of 6 college graduates who set out to create startup businesses. Set in the US it tackles a lot of issues that we can relate to as Zimbabweans when it comes to youth entrepreneurship and the elements involved in the journey. Watch this if you have ever wondered what it would be like to start up a business in the US economy.

Betting on Zero

This is the rather strange story of how a billionaire investor Bill Ackman essentially invested in a fight against international MLM brand Herbalife. This documentary will help you understand how it takes more than product and system to succeed in the world particularly when a very powerful person is invested in your failure.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

The film follows the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono who runs a small 10 seater sushi restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro located in a Tokyo subway station. It follows Ono’s dream to become a sushi master. Don’t start shedding tears for Ono just yet as his restaurant has a Michelin three-star rating (that means it’s very good) and charges around US$300 per plate. It has some good lessons for those in the food business.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Enron is one of the world’s most famous business stories. It was huge and rocked the business world taking down one of the biggest accounting firms in the world with it. Enron is a great study on corporate governance failure and just how much it can destroy a company.

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru

The subject of motivational speakers and gurus is a topical one. So a look behind the scenes with one of if not the world’s most popular motivational speakers makes for an interesting documentary. The title says a lot about what to expect from the documentary.

The Creative Brain

Zimbabwe seems to have a strange, almost love-hate relationship with creatives. We certainly love their work and what they have given us over the years but simultaneously manage to look down on these members of society. This documentary takes us through the lives and experiences of creatives in the industry.

American factory 

There’s a lot of chatter in Zimbabwe about the “culture clash” with Chinese investors and businesspeople operating in the country. The American factory documents the story of an American manufacturing business that was resuscitated by Chinese investors creating thousands of jobs in the beginning but experiencing culture clash and disappointment as the relationship continued.

Capital C

Capital C is a documentary that focuses on the modern wave of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is nothing new to Zimbabweans but the expression of it in a modern way is. This document explains some of the ins and outs of crowdfunding and how it can help with boosting small and moonshot businesses going forward.

She did that

She did that looks at the success stories of black women in business. While the documentary is set in America and hence some of the issues dealt with are to a different degree and extent you will still find you can relate to the issues as a Zimbabwean in business.

Any other business documentaries you rate as must-watch? Share yours in the comments section.