UK business report: the companies that formed during the pandemic

As we begin to recover from the damage caused by the pandemic and assess the economic impact Covid-19 has had on the UK, we have revealed the figures of UK entrepreneurship since the start of the pandemic.

Since March 2020, 726,919 businesses have been formed across the UK. There was a clear disparity between the number of businesses founded by men and women during this period, with 72.33% of businesses being founded by men, and just 27.67% being founded by women. This equates to 416,330 male businesses and 141,204 female businesses founded during the pandemic.

There was also a large number of family-owned businesses founded during this period (minimum of 2 related directors), with nearly 50,000 (49,701) businesses founded in total.

UK business incorporations across the country:

London was at the heart of this, with the majority of business being founded in the capital. Outside of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, Nottingham & Sheffield had the biggest concentration of new businesses:

  • Birmingham: 5,347
  • Manchester: 3,542
  • Leicester: 2,182
  • Nottingham: 2,158
  • Sheffield: 1,813

How these figures were impacted by age and gender:


  • In the 20-30 year old bracket, there were 186,231 businesses founded, with 55.15% of the businesses being founded by men, and 21.5% being founded by women. 
  • There was a similar divide in the 30-40 age group, with a 56.09%-19.1% split of the total 288,290 in favour of men.
  • The 41-60 age group contributed the most new businesses during the pandemic, with 348,404 new businesses founded by entrepreneurs in this age group. The disparity between the number of businesses formed by men and women was even bigger in the 41-60 age group, with 58.45% being founded by men, and 18.03% being founded by women.
  • The remaining age group, 60+, contributed a much smaller 67,280 new businesses, with a split of 61.16% being male founded, and 12.18% being female-founded.

This data shows how entrepreneurs were able to continue to consistently form businesses during the pandemic, despite the challenges that came with such a difficult period. 

To find out more about our data | Click here

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