Preston’s economic landscape is characterised by a diverse array of sectors, with a significant presence in wholesale and retail trade. The city has experienced robust growth in terms of employment, and there’s a notable increase in business activities, particularly in sectors like retail and educational services. The gender distribution among founders and directors indicates a predominance of male leadership, though female representation is gradually increasing.
Employment and Business Growth
- Total Employees: Preston has a total of 61,323 employees. The city has witnessed a rise in employment, with 105 companies reporting an increase in the number of employees. This 14.95% employee growth signifies a vibrant job market and an expanding economy.
- Top Sectors with Rising Employment: The sectors with the most significant growth in employment include Other Retail, Educational Services, Other Consumer Goods, Business Training Services, and Materials Technology. This diversified growth indicates a healthy balance across various industries.
- Number of IPOs: There have been no IPOs reported, suggesting that businesses may be focusing on growth and stability rather than public offerings.
- Company Cessations: Preston has seen 1,268 companies cease operations. This number, in the context of the total businesses and new companies, suggests a dynamic market with a natural cycle of business turnover.
- Number of New Companies in 2 Years: The city has seen 3,530 new companies in the last two years out of a total of 20,193 new companies, indicating a robust and growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Number of SMEs and Exporters: With 8,695 SMEs and 208 exporters, Preston shows a strong base of small and medium-sized enterprises contributing to its economy, along with a presence in international markets.
- Number of Companies with Foreign Parentage and Fundraisings: There are 144 companies with foreign parentage and 7 fund raisings, highlighting a level of international investment and financial activity in the city.
- Top Sectors by Number of Companies: The leading sectors in Preston include Wholesale and Retail Trade, Professional and Technical Activities, Construction, Real Estate, and Administrative Services. These sectors form the backbone of Preston’s economy.
- Sectoral Growth Dynamics: The top sectors showing growth, such as Other Retail and Educational Services, indicate a shift towards consumer-focused and knowledge-based industries.
- Number of Scaleups: Preston has 56 scaleups, indicating a healthy number of businesses experiencing significant growth.
- Number of Patent Owners and Grantees: With 101 patent owners and 4 grantees, Preston displays an environment conducive to innovation and intellectual property development.
Gender Representation in Business Leadership
- Percentage of Female and Male Founders: 10.53% of founders are female, and 87.72% are male, showing a gender gap in entrepreneurship.
- Percentage of Female and Male Directors: 22.23% female directors and 73.05% male directors indicate a similar gender disparity in corporate leadership.
Other Key Indicators
- Young Companies with Young Directors: 750 companies have young directors, showcasing a youthful entrepreneurial spirit.
- Number of Spinouts and Attendances: There have been no spinouts, but 5 attendances, suggesting some level of networking or collaborative events within the business community.
Preston’s economic health is marked by a strong and diverse business sector, significant employment growth, and a thriving SME environment. The city shows potential in innovation and business scale-ups. However, there is a notable gender disparity in business leadership roles that warrants attention. Overall, the economic outlook is positive, with room for growth in female entrepreneurship and leadership.