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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Chelmsford


Chelmsford’s economic landscape is characterised by a robust diversity of sectors with a significant presence in professional, scientific, and technical activities. The city’s business environment is marked by a notable growth in employment, rising number of businesses, and a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, it also faces challenges in gender diversity among founders and directors.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 70,446 employees in Chelmsford indicate a healthy job market. Notably, 234 companies have reported an increase in their employee count.
  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies: The leading sectors are professional, scientific, and technical activities (14.83% of companies), construction (13.26%), and wholesale/retail trade including motor vehicle repair (10.67%). This diversity suggests a balanced economic structure with multiple strong industries.
  • Top Sectors by Growth: Sectors like mobile apps, food and drink processors, internet platforms, and advertising and branding services are witnessing growth, signifying an emerging trend towards digital and consumer-focused industries.
  • Employee Growth Percentage: The 6.7% growth in employees underlines a positive trend in job creation.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Data not provided.
  • Scaleups: Chelmsford has 76 scaleup companies, demonstrating a promising environment for business expansion.
  • New Companies in Last 2 Years: 1,724 new companies were established over the last two years, indicating a vibrant startup scene.
  • Total Number of Companies: 14,421 companies in total, with a healthy mix of SMEs (10,953) and exporting companies (267), showcasing the city’s commercial breadth.
  • Foreign Parent Companies: 178 foreign parent companies reflect Chelmsford’s international business engagement.
  • Fundraisings and Patent Owners: The presence of 745 patent owners and 10 fundraising events highlights an innovative and investment-friendly business landscape.

Gender Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 11.39% female founders and 84.81% male founders indicate a gender disparity in entrepreneurial initiatives.
  • Directors’ Gender: A similar trend is seen among directors, with 26.85% female and 69.26% male, suggesting a need for increased female representation in leadership roles.

Company Demographics

  • Age Distribution of Directors: The distribution skews towards older age groups, with the highest concentration in the 50-60 age bracket (26.41%).
  • Young Companies with Young Directors: 519 companies helmed by younger directors suggest a burgeoning youth-driven entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Spinouts: Only 1 spinout company indicates limited university-industry collaboration in new ventures.
  • Company Attrition: 1,379 companies ceased operations, underscoring the competitive nature of the business environment.


Chelmsford presents a dynamic and diverse economic landscape with strong growth in employment and new business creation. However, challenges remain in terms of gender diversity in leadership and fostering younger entrepreneurial talent. The city’s economic health is supported by a mix of traditional and emerging sectors, making it a hub for both industrial and digital innovation.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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