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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Exeter


Exeter’s economic landscape is marked by a diverse array of sectors, with significant contributions from professional, scientific, technical, and real estate activities. The city employs 63,080 individuals, experiencing a substantial growth rate of 11.18%. Notably, the region hosts 9,289 companies, including 1,073 new businesses in the last two years, indicating a vibrant entrepreneurial environment. Sectors showing notable growth include SaaS and other business services, reflecting a tilt towards technology and professional services.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 63,080. The city has witnessed a significant growth in employment, marked by a rise of 11.18%, indicative of a robust and expanding job market.
  • Employee Growth: 297 companies have reported an increase in employment, signifying economic vitality and a positive business climate.
  • Top Sectors with Employee Growth: The leading sectors for employee growth include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), other business and professional services, Internet platforms, analytics and tools, and waste management services. This diversity suggests a healthy mix of traditional and emerging industries driving employment.

Sector Dynamics

  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Activities: This sector leads with 1,305 companies, accounting for 14.05% of the business landscape, highlighting the city’s strong knowledge-based economy.
  • Real Estate Activities: With 1,266 companies (13.63%), this sector is a significant contributor to the local economy, reflecting a stable and growing real estate market.
  • Construction and Trade: These sectors, including construction (1,104 companies) and wholesale/retail trade (899 companies), demonstrate the city’s robust physical infrastructure and consumer market.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: The city has seen a relatively low number of company closures (908), suggesting a resilient business environment.
  • New Companies: The emergence of 1,073 new companies over the past two years highlights a dynamic and entrepreneurial business landscape in Exeter.

Diversity and Innovation

  • Gender Representation: Founders show a gender split of 15.56% female and 82.96% male, while directorship roles are 27.56% female and 67.04% male, indicating room for improvement in gender diversity.
  • Age of Directors: Directors are predominantly over 40, with 51.35% above 50 years, reflecting an experienced leadership within the local businesses.
  • Innovation Indicators: With 19 fundraisings, 21 patent owners, and 148 companies involved in innovative activities, Exeter demonstrates a commitment to innovation and growth.


Exeter’s economic profile is characterised by a strong mix of professional services, technological innovation, and a robust real estate sector. The city’s ability to attract and grow businesses, combined with its resilience in maintaining low company cessation rates, positions it as a dynamic and thriving economic hub. However, there is potential for greater gender diversity in leadership roles and a continued focus on nurturing innovation and technology-driven sectors.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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