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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in South Hams


South Hams showcases a diverse economic landscape with significant activities in professional, scientific, technical, and construction sectors. The area has witnessed a healthy growth in employment, with a notable rise in companies in various sectors, though it has not seen any IPOs recently. The presence of SMEs and companies with foreign parentage indicates a dynamic business environment. Gender diversity in founding and director roles shows progress yet highlights areas for improvement.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: South Hams employs 32,024 individuals, with a significant number of them in key sectors like professional services and construction. The growth rate of 8.42% in employee numbers signifies a thriving job market.
  • Top Sectors for Employment: The leading sectors are diverse, with professional, scientific, and technical activities leading (822 companies), followed by construction (619 companies), and wholesale/retail trade (618 companies).
  • Sector Dynamics: Sectors showing the most growth include food and drink processors and marketing services, indicating a shift towards these industries.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: With 5,116 companies ceasing operations, there’s a noticeable impact on the business landscape, possibly indicating market saturation or economic challenges in certain sectors.
  • New Companies: The emergence of 971 new companies over two years shows dynamic entrepreneurial activity. This is complemented by the presence of 488 SMEs and 155 exporters, underscoring a robust business environment.

Gender and Age Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 20.22% of founders are female, 78.65% male, and 1.12% unknown, indicating a gender gap in entrepreneurship.
  • Directors’ Gender: Better gender diversity is seen in director roles, with 32.19% female and 64.11% male directors.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: A broad age distribution among directors, with the largest group over 60 years (36.75%), suggests a mix of experience and potentially a need for younger leadership.

Innovation and Global Outreach

  • Patent Owners and Fundraisings: With 387 patent owners and 4 grantees, there’s evidence of innovation. However, only 5 fundraising events might point to limited external investment.
  • Exporters and Foreign Parent Companies: The presence of 155 exporters and 52 companies with foreign parentage indicates global connections and market diversity.


South Hams presents a vibrant economic scenario with diverse sectors driving employment and business growth. The region shows promising entrepreneurial activity, despite challenges like company cessations. Gender diversity in leadership roles is evolving, with room for improvement. Innovation is present but could be bolstered with more external investments.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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