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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Sheffield


Sheffield’s economy showcases a diverse business landscape with notable strengths in sectors like wholesale, retail, and technical activities. The presence of a growing number of companies in innovative sectors like analytics and SaaS indicates a dynamic economic environment. The city’s workforce is expanding, as indicated by a significant employee growth rate and a healthy number of scale-ups, demonstrating an environment conducive to business growth and development.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 192,065. Sheffield’s employment landscape is robust, with a substantial workforce. The 9.59% employee growth rate signifies a thriving job market, likely driven by the city’s diverse economic sectors.
  • Employee Growth Drivers: 628 companies have contributed to this growth, highlighting a strong corporate ecosystem supporting employment.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors: Dominant sectors include wholesale and retail trade (15.18% of companies), professional and technical activities (13.2%), and construction (10.35%). This diversity underpins the city’s economic resilience.
  • Emerging Sectors: Notable growth in sectors like analytics and SaaS indicates a shift towards more technologically driven industries.
  • Total Companies: 33,529, with 4,841 new companies in the last 2 years. This growth signals a vibrant entrepreneurial environment.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): 24,056 SMEs form the backbone of the economy, vital for job creation and innovation.
  • Exporters and Foreign Parent Companies: 891 exporters and 580 companies with foreign parentage, indicating global business integration.
  • IPOs and Scaleups: 1 IPO and 166 scaleups suggest a nurturing environment for business expansion and public market readiness.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: 3,920 companies ceased, indicating market churn and the dynamic nature of the business landscape.

Gender Representation

  • Founders: 17.51% female, 81.73% male. Gender disparity in entrepreneurship is evident.
  • Directors: Better gender balance among directors with 26.31% female and 68.99% male.

Innovation and Investment

  • Fundraisings and Patents: 896 fundraisings and 36 patent owners reflect an innovative and investment-friendly environment.


Sheffield presents a dynamic and diverse economic landscape, with strengths in various sectors and a growing inclination towards technology and innovation. The robust increase in employment and the presence of a large number of SMEs and scaleups indicate a healthy business ecosystem. However, there’s a notable gender gap in entrepreneurship and leadership roles, which could be an area for future focus to ensure a more inclusive economic growth.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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