Female-led companies generate on average 58% less turnover than male-led companies

Start up of enterprise, women leader the new company self-confident, female business owner, turnover

On average, female-led companies generate 58 per cent less turnover than male-led companies, according to new research.

The Gender Index, an online interactive tracking tool of 4.4 million active UK companies, has launched providing the first ever in-depth, freely available picture into the state of female-owned companies across the UK.

Powered by AI data provider mnAI, the Gender Index showed that while there are more females starting companies than ever before – with 145,200 new companies last year – nationally active female-led companies make up 16.8 per cent of all UK companies – three and a half times smaller than the 2.7 million male-led companies.

However, female-led companies disproportionately generate less investment, compared to male-owned companies. Of the 1.3 million UK investments that were identified, 66.1 per cent went to male-led firms whereas female-led companies obtained nearly six times less investments than male-led companies.

Of the remaining 22 per cent, 17.3 per cent went to mixed led firms where there was an even number of male and female founders. The remaining 4.7 per cent was to companies where no gender information was available.

The disparity in the rate of growth of companies run by males and females shows that even female-owned companies hitting seven-figure turnover still lag significantly behind that of their male counterparts. The average turnover of female-owned companies is £1.3 million, compared to £3.1 million for male-owned companies. 

Jill PaySpeaking about the findings, Jill Pay, chairman of The Gender Index said, “Mapping the impact that female-founded companies have on the UK economy, uncovering their potential and supporting their growth, is paramount to a more inclusive, diverse and stronger economy, yet until now, the ability to do so has remained out of reach.”

“We now have the ability to map every company in every country, region, LEP and local authority across the UK, by sector, in real-time.”

“By making this information public, our ambition is to ensure that greater support is provided to female founded companies, helping to accelerate and stimulate fiscal and corporate growth.”

John CushingJohn Cushing, CEO of mnAI added, “The creation of The Gender Index marks a significant milestone in the support provided to female business owners, and we’re delighted to collaborate on this truly historic initiative.”

“Its ultimate mission is to help create a more equal future by providing a clear and accurate picture of what’s going on across the UK business landscape.”


“Revealing the disparity between male and female led businesses, highlighting the challenges, and identifying the opportunities.”

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

Related Posts