Derry City and Strabane’s economic landscape reflects a diverse range of industries, with Construction and Retail sectors leading. Despite not experiencing any IPOs, the region shows a positive employee growth of 11.17%. Notably, a significant number of new companies emerged over the past two years, indicating a dynamic entrepreneurial environment. Gender representation in leadership roles shows room for improvement, with a higher percentage of male founders and directors.
Employment and Business Growth
- Total Employees: 25,990 employees in the region show a strong workforce. The 11.17% employee growth rate is a positive indicator of economic health and job creation.
- Sectors with Most Growth: The Construction sector leads with 1,022 companies, followed by Retail Trade at 793 companies. These sectors not only dominate in quantity but also in the percentage of total businesses, signifying their pivotal role in the local economy.
- Top Sectors with Rising Companies: Sectors such as ‘Other retail’, ‘Outsourcing and shared services’, and ‘Analytics, insight, tools’ are emerging, each adding unique value and diversification to the economy.
- Company Cessations: The region has witnessed 3,473 company cessations, a figure that needs to be evaluated in the context of the 638 new companies in the last two years. This suggests a dynamic but challenging business environment.
- New Companies: The addition of 638 SMEs in the past two years highlights a thriving entrepreneurial spirit and a conducive environment for new business ventures.
Business Dynamics and Leadership
- Gender Representation in Leadership: Founders show a gender distribution of 22.22% female and 73.33% male, while directors have 26.23% female and 70.19% male. These figures indicate a disparity in gender representation in leadership roles.
- Director Age Demographics: The majority of directors fall within the 40-60 age range, suggesting experienced leadership predominates. However, the presence of younger directors (below 40) indicates a mix of experience and fresh perspectives in business leadership.
Derry City and Strabane present a robust and diverse economic landscape, with significant growth in employment and new businesses, especially in the construction and retail sectors. The dynamic nature of the business environment is evident from the number of new SMEs and company cessations. However, there is a noticeable gender gap in leadership roles. Overall, the region shows a healthy mix of established industries and emerging sectors, underpinned by experienced and emerging business leaders.