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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Canterbury


Canterbury’s economic landscape is defined by a diverse range of sectors, with a significant presence in professional, scientific, and technical activities. The city shows a healthy mix of established businesses and emerging companies, evidenced by the presence of scaleups and new companies over the last two years. However, there are challenges in terms of company cessations and a gender imbalance in leadership roles.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Canterbury has a total of 41,439 employees. The city has witnessed a growth in employment, with 120 companies reporting an increase in their employee count. This indicates a positive trend in job creation.
  • Sector Dynamics: The leading sector is ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’ with 1,471 companies, followed by ‘Construction’ and ‘Wholesale and retail trade’. These sectors are pivotal in driving the city’s economic growth.
  • Top Sectors with Increase in Companies: Notable sectors experiencing growth include ‘Internet platform’, ‘Business and professional services’, and ‘Mobile apps’. These emerging sectors reflect Canterbury’s adaptation to modern business trends.
  • Employee Growth Percentage: The city has seen a 7.23% growth in employment, a robust indicator of economic vitality and business expansion.
  • Number of Companies: There are 9,963 companies in Canterbury, indicating a strong and diverse business ecosystem.
  • New Companies in 2 Years: 2,431 new companies were established in the past two years, demonstrating a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment.
  • SMEs and Exporters: With 7,606 SMEs and 179 exporters, Canterbury exhibits a strong foundation in small and medium-sized enterprises, contributing significantly to local and international trade.
  • Foreign Parent Companies: 98 companies in Canterbury are subsidiaries of foreign parent companies, showing global business integration.
  • Fundraisings and Patent Owners: The city has 80 companies involved in fundraising activities and 9 patent owners, highlighting an environment conducive to innovation and growth.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Canterbury has experienced 909 company cessations, a figure that calls for analysis of business sustainability and market challenges.
  • Scaleups: There are 36 scaleups, indicating a number of companies are successfully expanding beyond their initial growth phases.

Gender and Age Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 25.88% of founders are female, 72.94% male, with 1.18% unknown. This highlights a gender gap in entrepreneurial leadership.
  • Directors’ Gender: Female directors constitute 28.69%, while male directors are 66.53%. The remaining 4.78% are of unknown gender, indicating a similar gender disparity in corporate governance.
  • Age of Directors: The distribution shows a higher concentration of directors in the older age brackets, with a notable percentage (29.26%) over 60 years old.


Canterbury’s economic environment is vibrant and diverse, with strong growth in employment and the emergence of new sectors. However, challenges exist in terms of business continuity and gender diversity in leadership. The city’s future economic health will depend on addressing these challenges while capitalizing on its areas of growth.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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