11 documentaries that will make you smarter about business

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How to Start Your Own Business

If you've got just a few hours to boost your business savvy, we've got you covered. These 11 documentary films offer in-depth looks at entrepreneurs, companies, and big ideas you might only be superficially familiar with.

From a film on Wal-Mart's business practices to one on aspiring sommeliers, each will simultaneously entertain and educate you about business.

What it really takes to launch a company

If you think that starting and building a company is like a real-life version of "The Social Network," think again. The 2014 documentary miniseries "startupland" takes viewers through the development of five businesses enrolled in a tech accelerator, showing how scary the experience really is. Each episode features interviews with well-known business execs and entrepreneurs, including Reddit's Alexis Ohanian and AOL's Steve Case. (The feature film "startupland," from the same creators, comes out this year.)


How a personal-care line became an accidental success

The face on Burt's Bees products belongs to Burt Shavitz, a beekeeper who never anticipated that he'd found a billion-dollar international brand. "Burt's Buzz" tells the story of Shavitz's career, starting from his days as a young New York City photojournalist. Viewers also learn about Shavitz's complicated relationship with cofounder Roxane Quimby, who eventually bought Shavitz out and sold the business to the Clorox company.


How to turn your passion into a profession

"Somm" follows a group of four men preparing for the master sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world. Their obsession with getting ready for the exam consumes them as well as the people closest to them. The film will inspire you to pursue your own ambitions, however lofty they may seem.

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