Report: ‘Who’s Starting Up Britain’s Businesses?’

Company Formation MadeSimple has now formed over 400,000 UK Limited Companies. That means we have the name, address, nationality, date of birth and occupation for a huge amount of company directors. Information that’s pretty handy when trying to visualise who is behind the UK’s startup boom.

So if you’ve ever wondered what the most common name for a director is, what starsign is the most entrepreneurial (who hasn’t?), which nationalities truly embrace the startup spirit, and more – read on.

The following is based on 240,000 limited company directors (appointed at incorporation) between 2012 – 2014.

Name – directors and their monikers

The 10 most common first names and surnames (male and female):

No surprises here with all the first names being taken up by traditional British names. However, if there was one standard spelling for Mohammed the name would appear at number 2 on the list of male first names (Mohammed is currently the most popular baby name for boys in the UK). Multiculturalism also shines through in the surnames, with six of the top ten male names being of non-UK origin.

If you are a male director there is a 2.82% chance that your name is David. If you are a female director there is a 1.5% chance that your name is Sarah. Whilst we can’t tell you what the most common name in the UK is now, we can look back 34 years (the most common age for our directors) and tell you that David was the 4th most common male name and Sarah the 5th most common female name (Michael and Jennifer were the most common).

My Lords, Ladies and… Venerables?

Set aside the more run of the mill titles such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Masters etc and we have: 4000 Drs,  77 Lords, 3 Ladies, 3 Reverends, 1 Air-Vice-Marshall, 1 The Honourable, 1 The Venerable, and our favourite; 1 Princess.

Gender – the split between male and female directors

This section examines the ratio of males appointed to females. For this information we looked at the title of each appointment. Non-gender specific titles, such as “Dr” (1.7% of the directors), were disregarded.

Gender & Nationality – the standout gender splits when looking at nationality

This section examines the ratio of males appointed to females in different nationalities. To qualify each nationality needed a minimum of 100 directors.

The split for UK nationals: Male: 72.46% / Female: 27.54%

Over the past three years the gender balance (in the UK) between male and females starting out in business has remained approximately 70% to 30%. This is with an approximate population split of 1.3 males to every 1 female. Here are the splits for the other mentioned countries:

Highest Male to Female countries

  • Afghanistan – 1.05 males to 1 female
  • Albania – 1.05 males to 1 female
  • Egypt – 1.03 males to 1 female
  • Pakistan – 1.05 males to 1 female
  • Iran – 1.02 males to 1 female

Highest Female to Male countries

  • Philippines – 1 male to 1 female
  • Zimbabwe – 0.81 male – to 1 female
  • Japan – 1.02 males to 1 female
  • Estonia – 0.91 male – to 1 female
  • Russia – 0.92 male – to 1 female

Age – the years behind the directors when they were appointed

From 16 – 113; age is no barrier for the directors

The most common ages for our directors were (in order): 34, 42, 33, 43 and 41. Our three oldest directors were 113, 110 and 101 (16 is the minimum age for a director).

Starsign – the most entrepreneurial (and not so entrepreneurial) signs of the zodiac

Taurus pips it. Interesting when compared to our previous report where Taurus came second. Maybe there’s something in this star stuff after all…

Location – where the directors live

This section examines the residential address of the directors.

We’ve defined London (areas with a standard N, S, E, W, SW etc postcode) as one place. Greater London has been split up.

Looking back at our 2009 – 2011 study…

Here’s the ‘Top 10 Regions’ from our previous study (you’ll notice that London was broken down and we didn’t group Scottish and Welsh locations into Scotland and Wales):

  • London South West 5.57%
  • London South East 5.48%
  • Guildford 2.97%
  • Reading 2.49%
  • Cardiff 2.29%
  • Newcastle on Tyne 2.14%
  • Southampton 2.11%
  • Tunbridge Wells 2.10%
  • Leeds 2.09%
  • Milton Keynes 2.08%

Welcome to Manchester, Harrow, Ilford, Twickenham and Southall. Farewell to Guildford, Newcastle, Southampton, Tunbridge Wells, Leeds and Milton Keynes.

Top 10 non-UK locations for directors:

Looking back at our 2009 – 2011 study (again)…

  • China 24.42%
  • France  13.12%
  • Germany 12.58%
  • Italy  6.64%
  • India  6.38%
  • Spain  5.38%
  • USA  4.94%
  • Ireland  4.74%
  • Australia  4.58%
  • Poland  3.33%

China continues to be the most popular location for our overseas directors (as it was in 2010 and 2011) whilst Spain has ousted France to take second place. Hungary and Switzerland take Ireland and Australia’s places in the top 10.

Nationality – where the directors were born

This section examines the given nationality of the directors. By comparing directors living in the UK, with the estimated population in the UK, we get our MadeSimple Entrepreneurial Nations Index (ENI) – which in turn shows us the 21 most entrepreneurial nationalities (21 so we can include the Brits!):

Of the British directors (who account for 67.6% of our directors):

97.2% are English
0.6% are Scottish
0.5% are Welsh
1.7% are Northern Irish

Occupations – how our directors define their work

Over 50% of the directors gave their occupation as ‘director’ or a variant (such as ‘company director’). Below are the other top answers provided:

The top 10 occupations from our previous report were:

  • Director
  • Company Director
  • Consultant
  • Manager
  • Accountant
  • Managing Director
  • Engineer
  • It Consultant
  • Self Employed
  • Businessman

As you can see the answers are very similar (if not exactly the same) in that they’re very general and don’t give much away. But this isn’t always the case…

 Our ‘A-Z of favourite occupations’

A – Aquatic Sales
B – Boss
C – Chimney Sweep
D – Doll House Miniaturist
E – Expert Witness
F – Falconer
G – Golf Caddy
H – Horse Dealer
I – Ice Cream Maker
J – Jockey
K – Karate Instructor
L – Leaflet Distribution
M – MOD
N – Narrowboat Painter
O – Opera Director
P – Polo Player
Q – Qualified Nurse
R – Roughneck
S – Sheep Farmer
T – The Fat Controller
U – Ultrapreneur
V – Vintage Lover
W – Walker
X – nothing
Y – Yachtmen
Z – Zumba Instructor

Thanks for reading our ‘Who’s Starting up Britain’s Businesses?’ report and infographic. Surprised by any of our findings, or got a question we didn’t cover? Connect with us via social – and let us have your thoughts and questions:

Twitter
Facebook
Google +

Have you been inspired to become a director? Change your life today and take a look at our different company formation options.

By Mathew Aitken at MadeSimpleFind Mathew on Google+

The following two tabs change content below.

Mathew Aitken

is Head of Content at MadeSimple. at This entails overseeing MadeSimple’s blogs (five in all!) and any other content we happen to be producing. In his spare time Mathew is an avid film-goer, TV-watcher and Tottenham Hotspur-endurer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *