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Tide and DueDil Research Reveals the Industry Hotspots for Female Owned Businesses

Tide has collaborated with DueDil to analyse the businesses formed in the last 5 years to discover the regional and industry hotspots for female-owned businesses. Based on SIC codes for businesses formed in the last five years, female-owned business hotspots included those related to social work activities without accommodation, veterinary activities, human health activities, and activities of households as employers of domestic personnel, new research has revealed.

By comparing those with male-only directors, female-only directors, and mixed directors, the research uncovered that, across the majority of industries, new companies (<5 years) with male-only directors far outweigh those with mixed genders or female-only directors.

The top 10 industries for businesses with female-only directors (in real numbers) included:

  1. Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (31,402)
  2. Other personal service activities (20,695)
  3. Food and beverage service activities (16,757)
  4. Human health activities (13,647)
  5. Real estate activities (13,387)
  6. Office administrative, office support and other business support activities (11,082)
  7. Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (10,253)
  8. Education (7,835)
  9. Other professional, scientific, and technical activities (6,718)
  10. Computer programming, consultancy, and related activities (6,393)

When it came to the top SIC codes with the biggest gender divide, in real numbers, there were only 4 with a female to male disparity. These included social work activities without accommodation (64.62%*) veterinary activities (60.70%*), human health activities (55.44%*), and activities of households as employers of domestic personnel (55.00%*). For businesses formed in the last year, businesses related to residential care activities (50.26%*) also featured.

Justin Fitzpatrick, co-founder and CEO at DueDil, said: “Last year’s Rose Report highlighted that if women started and scaled businesses at the same rate as men it would add £250m to the UK economy. With male businesses outnumbering female businesses by a factor of roughly 3 to 1, there’s still a long way to go. Equal Pay Day is an important effort to correct a clear injustice that drags on our economy and impacts everyone, not just women. We’re proud to be partnering with Tide to make the account opening process as seamless as possible and support more underrepresented entrepreneurs to realize their dreams”.

When it came to the top 10 industries with the biggest gender divide (in real numbers), the ones with the biggest male to female disparity (ordered as M/F percentage split) included:

  1. Civil engineering (96.39%/3.61%)
  2. Specialised construction activities (94.02%/5.98%)
  3. Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (93.33%/6.67%)
  4. Construction of buildings (92.93%/7.07%)
  5. Architectural and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis (90.95%/9.05%)
  6. Financial service activities, except insurance and pension funding (88.86%/11.14%)
  7. Computer programming, consultancy and related activities (87.47%/12.53%)
  8. Land transport and transport via pipelines (85.69%/14.31%)
  9. Activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies (83.36%/16.64%)
  10. Motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities (81.77%/18.23%)

Sarah Young, VP of Member Engagement at Tide, said: “Equal Pay Day 2020 – the day in the year when women effectively, on average, stop earning relative to men – will fall on 20th November. Equal Pay Day highlights pay discrimination, which is one of the contributing factors which encourages many women to take the plunge and start a business of their own. Tide is committed to supporting business owners from a diverse range of backgrounds, so we hope this advice gives prospective businesswomen the inspiration and encouragement to start their own ventures.

“By the end of 2022 we will help at least 50,000 women and 20,000 people from BAME backgrounds get started on their entrepreneurial journey. With Tide, business owners can register a limited company and open a business account, all in one go, for free.

“Interestingly, the DueDil data also revealed that companies (of different ages) were much more stable for those with a mix of genders than for ones with solely male or female directors. Though this may be due to companies with multiple directors faring better than ones without, so caveats with treating correlation as causation apply”.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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