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The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Cambridge


Cambridge showcases a dynamic economic landscape, characterised by a strong presence in the ‘Professional, scientific, and technical activities’ sector, along with notable growth in technology-oriented sectors. The city’s diverse economic structure is evidenced by significant activities in trade, real estate, and manufacturing. A healthy mix of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and scale-ups indicates a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Cambridge employs 148,136 individuals, a sign of a vibrant job market. The city witnessed a growth in employment, with 1,609 companies reporting an increase in their workforce.
  • Employee Growth Rate: The percentage growth in employees is 9.30%, reflecting a positive trend in job creation.
  • Top Sectors for Employment: The ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’ sector leads, employing a significant portion of the workforce, followed by ‘Wholesale and retail trade’ and ‘Information and communication’. This diversity suggests a balanced and resilient economic structure.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Company Count: The leading sectors in terms of company count include ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’, ‘Wholesale and retail trade’, and ‘Information and communication’. This highlights Cambridge’s strength in knowledge-based and tech industries.
  • Rising Sectors: Emerging sectors like ‘Analytics, insight, tools’, ‘SaaS’, and ‘Pharmaceuticals’ are gaining prominence, indicating a shift towards high-tech and innovative industries.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Cambridge saw 1,408 companies cease operations, which is a critical metric for assessing the business environment’s volatility.
  • New Companies (Last 2 Years): The city welcomed 2,902 new companies in the last two years, demonstrating a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a conducive environment for new business ventures.
  • Scale-ups: With 52 scale-ups, Cambridge shows a healthy progression of businesses from start-ups to more established entities.
  • SMEs and Exporters: The presence of 7,866 SMEs and 215 exporters underlines the city’s robust small business sector and its integration into global markets.

Diversity and Innovation

  • Gender Diversity in Leadership: Cambridge shows a moderate level of gender diversity in business leadership, with 23.68% female directors and 18.06% female founders.
  • Innovation Indicators: With 5006 patent owners and 70 grantees, Cambridge demonstrates strong innovative capabilities, crucial for long-term economic sustainability.


Cambridge’s economic health is characterized by a thriving employment market, diverse sectoral engagement, and a strong inclination towards technology and innovation. The city’s economic landscape is bolstered by a mix of SMEs and scale-ups, contributing to its resilience and growth potential. However, the company cessation rate and gender diversity in leadership positions are areas for potential improvement.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.