The economic landscape of Barking and Dagenham reveals a diverse array of sectors contributing to its growth. Notably, the region has experienced an overall increase in employment with significant contributions from sectors like wholesale, retail, construction, and administrative support services. Despite no recent IPOs, the area shows a positive trend in employee growth and a significant number of new companies emerging over the past two years, indicating a dynamic and evolving business environment.
Employment and Business Growth
- Total Employees: 34,876 – The region’s employment numbers are healthy, with 25 companies reporting a rise in employee counts. This 10.22% employee growth is indicative of a robust job market, particularly in sectors such as wholesale, retail trade, and construction.
- Top Sectors: The leading sectors by company count are wholesale/retail trade and repair of motor vehicles (4,254 companies), construction (3,574 companies), and administrative support (2,463 companies). These sectors are key drivers of the region’s economic activity.
- Top Sectors with Employment Growth: Sectors like Design services, Research tools/reagents, and Other software, though small in number, are showing signs of growth, which could indicate emerging areas of economic opportunity.
- Company Cessations: With a total of 2,968 companies ceasing operations, there is a noticeable churn in the business landscape. This could be a sign of a dynamic market with new opportunities constantly emerging, but also indicates the challenges businesses face in sustaining over time.
- New Companies: The region has seen the emergence of 5,162 new SMEs in the last two years, reflecting a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and a conducive environment for business startups.
- Scale-ups: The presence of 42 scale-ups suggests that a segment of companies is experiencing significant growth, contributing positively to the regional economy.
Sector and Company Trends
- Key Sectors and Their Dynamics: The dominance of traditional sectors like wholesale/retail trade and construction is complemented by the growth in administrative services and professional activities, showing a balanced sectoral development.
- SMEs and Exporters: With 13,581 SMEs and 147 exporters, the region demonstrates a strong foundation of small and medium-sized businesses with international reach.
Diversity and Inclusion
- Gender Representation in Founders and Directors: Founders show a gender split of 30% female, 65% male, and 5% unknown. Directors have 24.91% female and 69.09% male representation, highlighting areas for improved gender diversity in leadership roles.
- Age Distribution of Directors: A diverse age range among directors, with notable participation from the 30-40 (27.57%) and 40-50 (31.44%) age groups, suggests a blend of experience and new perspectives in business leadership.
Innovation and Development
- Innovation Indicators: The region has 1 patent owner and 2 grantees, indicating some level of innovative activity, though there’s room for growth in this area.
- Business Development: The absence of spinouts and a low number of IPOs (0) suggest that the region could benefit from enhanced strategies to foster high-growth and innovation-driven enterprises.
Barking and Dagenham showcases a dynamic and diverse economic environment with strengths in traditional sectors and emerging growth areas. While the region boasts a healthy rate of new company formation and employment growth, challenges in business continuity and innovation suggest areas for strategic focus. The gender diversity in leadership roles also presents an opportunity for further progress.