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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in City of Edinburgh


The City of Edinburgh showcases a dynamic economic landscape characterised by a diverse range of sectors and a substantial workforce. The city’s employment statistics reveal a total of 374,483 employees, with 2,218 companies reporting growth in their workforce. This indicates a robust business environment with expanding opportunities. The city’s top sectors, such as Professional, Scientific, and Technical Activities, along with emerging sectors like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), are key drivers of this economic vitality.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 374,483. The City of Edinburgh exhibits a significant employment base, indicative of a strong and diverse local economy.
  • Employee Growth: With 2,218 companies reporting an increase in employees, there’s a clear trend of business expansion and job creation, fueling economic growth.
  • Percentage Employee Growth: 11.52%. This substantial growth rate underscores the city’s dynamic business environment and its capacity for sustained economic development.
  • Number of Scaleups: 185. The presence of these rapidly growing businesses is a positive sign of entrepreneurial success and economic resilience.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies: The leading sectors include Professional, Scientific, and Technical Activities (6,872 companies), followed by Administrative and Support Service Activities (3,885), and Wholesale and Retail Trade (3,858). These sectors form the backbone of the city’s economy.
  • Emerging Sectors: The SaaS sector, with 26 companies, is notable for its growth potential, alongside sectors like Analytics and Internet Platforms. These areas are crucial for future economic diversification and innovation.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: A total of 3,897 companies ceased operations. This figure is critical for understanding the challenges and risks within the local business landscape.
  • New Companies (Last 2 Years): 5,622. This indicates a vibrant entrepreneurial environment and the city’s attractiveness for new business ventures.
  • Total Companies: 58,052. The large number of companies reflects a diverse and robust business ecosystem.

Gender Representation in Leadership

  • Founders by Gender: 18.54% female founders and 79.93% male founders. This highlights the gender disparity in entrepreneurship, indicating potential areas for policy intervention.
  • Directors by Gender: 26.18% female directors and 66.26% male directors. The presence of female directors is notable, but there remains room for improved gender balance in corporate leadership.

Innovation and International Presence

  • Number of Patent Owners: 2272. A significant number of patent owners suggest a strong culture of innovation and technological advancement.
  • Number of Exporters: 520. This reflects the city’s international business engagement and the global reach of its products and services.
  • Number of Companies with Foreign Parentage: 1357. This demonstrates Edinburgh’s attractiveness to foreign investment and its integration into the global economy.


The City of Edinburgh presents a thriving and diverse economic landscape. Strong employment growth, a variety of booming sectors, and a significant number of new and scaling businesses characterise the city’s economy. However, challenges such as company cessations and gender disparity in leadership need attention. The presence of a substantial number of patent owners and exporters underscores the city’s innovative spirit and international appeal.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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