Companies led by women are most dynamic in UK says new report from Founders4Schools #PLEDGEFORPARITY

Martha Lane Fox
Martha Lane Fox runs Doteveryone – a national organisation aiming to make Britain brilliant in the digital age

New analysis based on open-government and LinkedIn data-sets reveals how companies led by women grow, perform and rank – identifying the fastest-growing and most dynamic women-led businesses across the UK.

Compiled by Founders4Schools, the ed-tech charity that brings business leaders into schools, and supported by Doteveryone – a national organisation founded by Last founder Martha Lane Fox – the report showed 762 women-led companies with revenues of between £ 1M  and £250 Million are expanding at a Median Growth Rate of 30% per cent a year.

What’s more nearly 60% (453 businesses) are growing by 20% or more and 281 (37%) are growing by 50% or more.

This is the first time local interactive cluster maps all across the country have been created showing the location of growing business led by women with £1 Million to £250 Million in revenue.

Says Sherry Coutu CBE, Chair of Founders4Schools & Author of the Scale-up Report: “We are delighted to celebrate these women who are making a major contribution to UK economic growth.

“I hope by literally putting them on the map they will find it easier to find the talent to fill all those orders their customers are placing with them. I am hopeful that this will help them to attract the talent they need to fulfil the huge pipeline of customer orders they need.

I set up Founders4Schools to inspire young people to consider starting their own businesses. I love the examples set by women like Anya Hindmarch, Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne at Genius Foods, Julie Deane from Cambridge Satchel Company and Kathryn Parsons from Decoded. The fact that we now have 762 examples available to inspire the next generation of girls about the impact they can also have on the world is very exciting.

Commenting on the data findings, Martha Lane Fox, Founder of Doteveryone adds: “Whilst the data shows the tech sector accounts for (67%) women-led businesses in the UK, there is so much more to be done.

“Women currently occupy just 17% of tech jobs and make up only 3% of partners in venture capital firms. Fewer than 1 in 10 of these women are in leadership positions within the sector and, perhaps most shockingly, women only hold 4% of software engineers”.

“On a global scale, its cited that women entrepreneurs are poised to lead the next wave of growth in tech, and the high-tech companies women build are more capital-efficient than the norm.

“If the UK is to leapfrog every other nation on this planet to become the most digital, most connected, most skilled and most informed on the planet we urgently need to address the gender imbalance within the tech sector and ensure that our leaders, investors and entrepreneurs come from the widest pool of home-grown talent.”

Internet Safety and Security Minister Baroness Shields adds: “I am delighted that we now have the ability to identify and track the growth of female led businesses as a result of the UK government’s open data policy. This report confirms that women-led business leadership contributes immensely to growth and innovation right across the UK and I commend these women and their organisations for making a significant impact on our economy.”

See infographic here


  • The total revenues they together accounted for increased by nearly £ 2 billion from the last year.  This was a median annual revenue increase per woman-led company of £ 900,000

  • The average revenue of women-led businesses was £ 12 Million pounds and on average, this was £ 2.3 Million more than the previous year.

  • 11% of businesses are women-led and the proportion of women led-businesses increases as the size of the businesses increases and as the growth rate of the businesses increases, compared to businesses overall.

  • The Tech Sector accounts for 517 of the 762 (67 %)  women-led businesses with 300 (58%)  of the businesses 20% per annum and 188 (35%) of the businesses growing 50% or more per annum.

  • After Greater London with 273 women led businesses (led by Camden with 44), Leeds is a stand out city with 43 women-led companies, followed by Enterprise M3 and the South East, home to 29 women-led companies each.

  • Fast-growing women-led companies present in all regions of the UK, with 68 per cent headquartered outside London.  Scottish women-led companies are growing revenues at a median annual rate of 30 per cent

  • Almost 25 per cent of the women-led companies are from the Information Technology and Services, Staffing and Recruiting, Financial Services, Marketing,Advertising  and Management Consulting, Healthcare and events services sectors, demonstrating those industries’ ability to adapt and succeed despite challenging headwinds

  • Sector diversity continues to be strong – Internet, Computer Software, Construction, PR/Comms, Real Estate, Food & Beverage & Insurance  companies remain exceptionally well represented

  • Management Consulting is one of the fastest growing women-led sectors with an average annual revenue growth rate of 88 per cent.

  • Women-led Events services firms also continue to grow rapidly, at an average annual revenue growth rate of 42 per cent

  • Women-led Internet Firms grew at 33% and women-led PR and Comms Firms grew at an average 28%


Chris Price