ScaleUp Female Founders Index 2022

Female founded scaleups continue to grow in numbers while also demonstrating deep resilience through the pandemic. The ScaleUp Institute’s ScaleUp Female Founder Index shows that the number of scaleups that have crossed the £10.2m turnover and/or £5.1m in assets threshold and have at least one female founder now stands at 261 – representing a 34.5% increase on the number since our 2020 Index. Their collective turnover is £14bn – more than 41% greater compared to 2020 – and the total number of people employed by these businesses is 64,995. They have also attracted £5bn in investment.

The recent update to the Rose Review highlights that more women are forming businesses and our Index shows more are scaling – the demographic makeup of the Index is increasingly wide-ranging: nearly four in ten female-founded scaleups are businesses that are just 5 to 10 years old; with two in ten over 20 years old.

The diversity of these companies and their founders is remarkable – they range from software to skincare, plant hire to pharmaceuticals, from television post-production to pipeline technology. The ScaleUp Institute’s latest survey also highlights the sentiments of female-founded scaleups. When asked about their biggest challenges to growth, these scaleups highlight key barriers around accessing Markets and finding the right Talent and Skills, followed by access to Finance and Growth Capital, showing more needs to be done in connecting them to market opportunities at home and overseas, alongside skills and funding. The landscape for female entrepreneurs is changing and we must all redouble our collective efforts to support the growing numbers of them scaling up.