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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Southend-on-Sea


Southend-on-Sea presents a dynamic economic landscape characterised by a robust construction sector, significant activities in professional, scientific, and technical services, and a notable presence in wholesale and retail trade. With a total workforce of 68,435 employees, the region has experienced a diverse sectoral growth, particularly in marketing services, business banking, and e-commerce. The city’s vibrant business environment is further underscored by its healthy number of scaleups, SMEs, and companies with foreign parentage.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Southend-on-Sea employs 68,435 individuals. The region has seen a positive trend with 23 raisers in employment numbers.
  • Employee Growth: The percentage growth in employees is 6.76%, reflecting a healthy increase in job opportunities.
  • Scaleups: The presence of 52 scaleups indicates a promising environment for business growth and expansion.
  • Top Sectors with Rising Number of Companies: Marketing services, business banking, financial services, e-commerce, and other retail sectors are emerging as key areas of growth.

Sector Dynamics

  • Dominant Sectors: Construction (14.58%), Professional/Scientific/Technical Activities (12.78%), and Wholesale/Retail Trade (10.68%) are the dominant sectors.
  • Emerging Sectors: Sectors like Marketing Services and E-commerce are gaining momentum, indicating a shift towards service-oriented and digital businesses.
  • Total Companies: There are 19,432 registered companies in the region.
  • New Companies in Last 2 Years: 4,428 new companies have been established in the last two years, suggesting a robust entrepreneurial climate.
  • SMEs: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) form a significant part of the business landscape with 15,282 entities.
  • Exporters and Foreign Parent Companies: The presence of 253 exporters and 108 companies with foreign parentage highlights the city’s global business engagement.

Innovation and Investment

  • Fundraisings and Patents: There have been 141 fundraisings and 6 patent owners, indicating a focus on innovation and growth.
  • Spinouts and Attendance: The absence of spinouts, coupled with 2 attendance records, points to potential areas for development in academic-industry collaboration and networking.

Diversity in Leadership

  • Founders’ Gender: 18.18% of founders are female, while 80% are male.
  • Directors’ Gender: Female directors constitute 27.13%, and male directors 69.53%.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: A diverse age range among directors, with the majority falling between 40 and 60 years.


Southend-on-Sea’s economic landscape shows a strong construction sector, growing service-oriented and digital businesses, and a robust entrepreneurial environment. While employment and business growth are on the rise, the city exhibits a notable gender disparity in business leadership. The council’s focus might be directed towards fostering innovation, enhancing academic-industry collaboration, and improving diversity in leadership roles.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

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