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

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Stoke-on-Trent


Stoke-on-Trent’s economic landscape is characterised by a diverse range of sectors, with a strong emphasis on wholesale and retail trade, construction, and professional activities. The city shows a robust number of employees and a notable presence of companies across various industries. Despite the absence of initial public offerings (IPOs), there is a healthy rate of employee growth and a significant number of new companies established in the last two years, suggesting a dynamic and evolving business environment.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: Stoke-on-Trent employs 88,616 individuals, indicating a substantial workforce. The presence of 415 companies that have increased their number of employees points to a positive trend in employment growth. The percentage of employee growth stands at 12.80%, which is a strong indicator of economic vitality and business expansion in the area.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Company Numbers: The leading sectors are wholesale/retail trade and repair of motor vehicles (2,149 companies, 17.6% of total), construction (1,420 companies, 11.63%), and professional, scientific, and technical activities (1,197 companies, 9.81%). These sectors form the backbone of Stoke-on-Trent’s economy, showcasing a diverse and robust market.
  • Top Sectors by Company Growth: Sectors such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Internet platform, and materials technology are emerging as significant growth areas, although currently, they represent a small fraction of the overall business landscape.

Innovation and Scale-Ups

  • Company Scale-Ups: There are 72 scale-up companies in Stoke-on-Trent, indicating a healthy environment for business growth and expansion.
  • New Companies and SMEs: The city has seen the emergence of 2,400 new companies in the past two years, out of a total of 12,208 companies. This demonstrates a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. The majority of these are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), totaling 7,878.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: There are 1,687 companies that have ceased operations. This figure needs to be viewed in the context of the number of new companies and overall company dynamics.

Diversity and Leadership

  • Gender Representation in Leadership: Founders’ gender representation is skewed towards males (90%), with females representing only 10%. Directors’ gender balance is somewhat better but still male-dominated, with 71.05% male and 25% female directors.


Stoke-on-Trent presents a dynamic and growing business environment, with a strong presence in traditional sectors like trade and construction, alongside emerging areas like SaaS and internet platforms. The high number of new companies and employee growth indicates a robust economic climate. However, there is room for improvement in gender 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.