Inspiration on Film: The Best Documentaries for Social Entrepreneurs

Well, we are shifting gears slightly today. Instead of throwing loads of books at you, we have decided to comb through our Netflix and AmazonPrime accounts to find the best documentaries for social entrepreneurs. We have found eight awesome films, including an Oscar winner.

Throughout all the films you will see extraordinary heroes, social entrepreneurs who have made it to the big leagues, business people who are trying to create fair trade supply chains, and people who walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.  And so, without further fanfare, here are our picks.

Food Inc. 

From organic food giants to neighbourhood food movements, and from lobbyists to legislators this film has it all covered. Director Robert Kenner takes a close look at food – from policy, corporations, and entrepreneurs. Kenner weaves together multiple unconnected stories to create a varied tapestry with help from Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eKYyD14d_0

The True Cost

Director Andrew Morgan approaches the fashion industry through the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. The horrific tragedy is the impetus for his examination of the fast fashion problem. From environmental effects to human rights issues he does not shy away from any aspect of the sordid economic sector. Along the way you meet organic cotton farmers, a woman in India who is trying to make a life for her daughter, and several entrepreneurs trying to build better supply chains.

Codegirl

This one is simple – girls banding together to improve their communities and lives through technology.  While computer science was undoubtedly founded by women (thank you Ada Lovelace, and all the amazing programmers, compilers, calculators, and codecrackers that came after her), the gender gap is widening within the employment segment.  Watch this if you want to find out ways to create a more inclusive environment.

The Startup Kids

Two Icelandic entrepreneurs decide to travel the world to find inspiring stories of other start-ups and new, small businesses.  The two women are in the tech business, more specifically gamification apps, and wanted to inspire others to pursue their passion and hopes to start their own businesses.  Some of the biggest personalities in the cloud business are interviewed for this feature length film.

Catching the Sun

The film looks at the solar power industry – from dispelling myths to understanding the appeal of solar energy, as opposed to cheaper forms of clean energy.  Naysayers and proponents alike are featured in the film, as the directors and producers hoped to provide a balance look at the industry. While the film features Americans heavily there are other entrepreneurs from around the world and their stories.

The White Helmets

This Oscar winning documentary short film follows those brave rescue workers on the front lines of the Syrian Civil Defence. Their day to day activities are captured well and the pace is fast, even for something this short. The run time is forty minutes but you will need some downtime once the credits have rolled as the film is quite intense.

Living on One Dollar

This documentary is made by a group of college students who try an experiment. They are going to, as closely, as possible mimic the conditions of those living in poverty in South America. They struggle through illness and hunger – living on one dollar a day. They meet their neighbours and learn how they have coped with some of the financial challenges they have faced. As well as entrepreneurs who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families through micro-financing.

Islands of the Future

This is a documentary series featuring Europe’s coastal islands and how they are dealing with the oncoming energy crisis. Islanders use every eco-energy method available to them to power life on the island. There are five episodes total – so be prepared to binge watch.

It is spring – there are bound to be some days of unpredictable weather. Hopefully, we have just given you something to do when it is rainy outside (or when you lack the inspiration to do anything). To stay updated with everything Impact Hub has to offer, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, You Tube or Twitter, or join our newsletter.

Jennifer Cornick Freelance journalist and blogger for various publications in Vienna. When I am not writing, I can generally be found with a book (or anything with words on it - even cereal boxes). Photo Credit: Aneta Pawlik

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