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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Harlow


Harlow, a city with a diverse economic portfolio, is currently experiencing dynamic shifts in its business landscape. With a total of 31,048 employees, the city has seen a significant increase in employment, marked by 52 companies reporting growth. Key sectors driving the economy include Construction, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Health and Social Work, and Technical Activities, among others. Despite no recent IPOs, Harlow demonstrates a robust environment for scale-ups and SMEs, indicative of a nurturing business ecosystem.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Harlow employs 31,048 individuals. The 6.14% growth in employee numbers suggests a thriving job market.
  • Employee Raisers: 52 companies have increased their workforce, indicating a healthy expansion trend.
  • Top Sectors: Construction (13.32%), Retail Trade (12.55%), Health and Social Work (11.29%), and Technical Activities (10.23%) dominate the employment landscape, reflecting a balanced sectoral distribution.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Company Count: Construction, Retail Trade, and Health are the most prominent sectors, highlighting Harlow’s diversified economic base.
  • Sectors with Most Growth: Notable growth in niche sectors like Healthcare Products and IT Support Services, despite their smaller size, points towards emerging industry trends in Harlow.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: The absence of recent company cessations underscores a stable business environment.
  • New Companies (2 Years): The addition of 1,227 new companies over the last two years signifies a vibrant startup ecosystem.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

  • Scaleups: 38 scaleups highlight an environment conducive to business growth.
  • SMEs and Exporters: The presence of 5,810 SMEs and 201 exporters underlines a strong small business sector with international reach.
  • Innovation Indicators: Harlow houses 288 patent owners and 2 grantees, showcasing its potential in innovation and research.

Diversity and Leadership

  • Gender Diversity in Founders: 15.38% female founders, though lower than male counterparts, suggests a need for increased female entrepreneurship.
  • Directorship Diversity: Female directors constitute 27.24%, while male directors dominate at 66.29%, indicating gender diversity but with room for improvement.


Harlow’s economic landscape is characterised by a robust employment sector, diverse and growing business segments, and a supportive environment for SMEs and startups. The city’s commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship is evident, though there is a need to enhance female representation in business leadership.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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