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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Guildford


Guildford, a city marked by a diverse business landscape, has shown significant economic activities in various sectors. With 167,892 employees, the city demonstrates a vibrant job market. The top sectors contributing to Guildford’s economic vibrancy include professional, scientific, and technical activities, information and communication, and wholesale and retail trade. The report delves into various economic indicators, providing insights into employment trends, business growth, sector dynamics, and the corporate environment.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Guildford employs 167,892 individuals, indicating a robust workforce.
  • Employee Growth: There’s been a growth of 629 employees, a positive indicator of job creation and economic expansion.
  • Top Sectors: The leading sectors in terms of company presence are professional, scientific, and technical activities (21.85%), followed by information and communication (12.13%), and wholesale/retail trade (10.13%).
  • Top Sectors with Rising Companies: Notably, sectors like analytics, food and drink processors, and software-as-a-service are witnessing an increase in companies, indicating emerging areas of economic growth.
  • Percentage Employee Growth: The city has experienced a 9.82% growth in employment, showcasing a dynamic job market and business expansion.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: There’s been a significant number of company cessations, with 14,990 companies ceasing operations. This number, while high, needs to be viewed in the context of the total number of companies and new startups.
  • New Companies: With 2,073 new companies in the last two years, Guildford shows a healthy rate of new business creation.
  • SMEs and Scale-ups: The city hosts 8,986 SMEs and 95 scale-ups, indicating a strong presence of small and medium-sized enterprises, which are crucial for economic diversity and innovation.
  • Exporters and Foreign Parent Companies: Guildford has 329 exporters and 377 companies with foreign parentage, highlighting its global business connections.
  • Business Vitality Indicators: With 43 fund-raisings, 2,556 patent owners, and 17 grantees, the city demonstrates vibrant business activity and innovation.

Gender and Age in Leadership

  • Founders Gender: Male founders dominate at 86.16%, with female founders representing 12.80%.
  • Directors Gender: The gender distribution among directors is 27.49% female and 67.62% male.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: The majority of directors are above 50 years (62.79%), with a smaller representation of younger directors, indicating a leadership skewed towards more experienced individuals.


Guildford’s economic landscape is characterised by a robust workforce, diverse sector involvement, and a notable presence of SMEs and innovative companies. The high number of company cessations juxtaposed with a strong influx of new companies suggests a dynamic, albeit challenging, business environment. The gender and age distribution in leadership roles reflect traditional trends, with opportunities for greater diversity.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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