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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Scottish Borders


The Scottish Borders region demonstrates a diverse economic landscape, characterised by significant activity in various sectors. With a total of 23,237 employees, the region shows a healthy employment scenario. The data suggests a balanced mix of industries, with notable growth in certain sectors. The absence of IPOs indicates a focus on established business models rather than new market entrants. The growth of 7.82% in employee numbers is a positive indicator of economic vitality. The presence of 20 scaleups suggests a dynamic environment conducive to business growth.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 23,237. The region has witnessed a commendable growth in employment, with a 7.82% increase. This suggests a robust job market and a growing economy.
  • Employee Growth: 10 sectors have shown a rise in employment. This diversification of growth across multiple sectors indicates a resilient and dynamic economy, capable of withstanding sector-specific downturns.

Sector Analysis

  • Top Sectors by Number of Companies:
    • Professional, scientific, and technical activities lead with 653 companies (14.27% of total).
    • Construction (555 companies, 12.13%), and Wholesale/Retail Trade (549 companies, 12%) follow closely.
    • Other notable sectors include Accommodation/Food Service (351 companies), Administrative/Support (349 companies), and Real Estate (345 companies).
  • Sectors with Rising Company Numbers:
    • Other retail, E-commerce, Other manufacturing and engineering, and Clothing industries show notable growth, signaling emerging opportunities in these areas.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 316 companies have ceased operations. While this number is significant, it must be contextualised within the larger framework of business dynamics in the region.
  • New Companies: 471 new companies in the past two years, indicating a healthy rate of new business formation.
  • Total Companies: 4,576. This number, combined with the number of new companies, underscores a dynamic business environment.

Leadership and Innovation

  • Gender Distribution in Founders: 22.22% female, 77.78% male. This shows a gender gap in entrepreneurship which may warrant initiatives to encourage more female founders.
  • Gender Distribution in Directors: 30.6% female, 65.33% male, highlighting a similar gender gap in corporate leadership.
  • Innovation Indicators: With 173 patent owners and 4 grantees, there’s evidence of innovative activity, although it may be relatively limited in scope.


The Scottish Borders region exhibits a dynamic and growing economic landscape, with robust employment growth and a diverse sector presence. The rise in the number of scaleups and new companies over the past two years indicates a healthy business environment. However, the gender gap in leadership roles and the moderate level of innovation activity suggest areas for potential improvement. Overall, the region presents a promising picture of economic resilience and opportunity.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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