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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Tower Hamlets


Tower Hamlets presents a vibrant economic landscape, driven by a diverse range of sectors. With a total of 1,101,492 employees, the borough showcases significant activity in professional, scientific, and technical activities, as well as in information and communication. The presence of sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, administrative support, and real estate also contribute to its dynamic economy. Notably, sectors like internet platforms and software-as-a-service (SaaS) are on the rise, indicating a strong inclination towards technology and digital services.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 1,101,492. The borough’s workforce is substantial, with a significant 12.16% growth rate. This indicates robust job creation and economic development.
  • Employee Growth: 8,630 companies have reported an increase in employees, reflecting a positive trend in business expansion and possibly an upturn in the economic climate of Tower Hamlets.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Company Count:
    • Professional, scientific, and technical activities: 7,981 companies (16.96%)
    • Information and communication: 7,014 companies (14.91%)
    • Wholesale/retail trade and repair of motor vehicles: 6,740 companies (14.32%)
  • Top Sectors with Rising Company Counts:
    • Internet platform: 48 companies
    • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): 48 companies
    • Mobile apps: 41 companies

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: Tower Hamlets saw a total of 73,346 companies ceasing operations, a figure that highlights the challenges and competitive nature of the business environment.

Innovation and Growth

  • Number of IPOs: 0, suggesting a potential area for growth in attracting public listings.
  • Number of Scaleups: 200, indicating a healthy environment for business expansion and growth.
  • New Companies (Last 2 Years): 8,364, showcasing a vibrant start-up ecosystem.
  • SMEs: 30,011, forming the backbone of the local economy.
  • Exporters: 724, indicating international business engagement.
  • Companies with Foreign Parentage: 286, highlighting global business ties.
  • Fundraisings: 201, showing active investment activities.
  • Patent Owners: 1,481, reflecting innovation and intellectual property development.

Diversity and Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 15.93% female, 82.29% male, indicating a gender gap in entrepreneurship.
  • Directors’ Gender: 22.65% female, 69.37% male, showing a similar gender disparity in corporate leadership.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: Majority in the 40-60 age bracket, with younger directors (under 30) representing a small fraction.


Tower Hamlets is a hub of economic activity with a strong emphasis on professional services, tech, and innovation. However, the high number of company cessations and the gender disparity in leadership positions point to areas needing attention. The borough’s growing number of SMEs and vibrant start-up scene, coupled with its innovation in technology sectors, positions it well for future growth and development.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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