Diversity Across the UK's High-Growth Startups & Scaleups

Beauhurst has long believed in the importance of diversity—in all its forms—to the UK’s high-growth ecosystem. Diversity fuels growth and innovation. But we have historically been reticent about many forms of diversity. As a company that provides data and analysis, we have felt limited to speaking about issues where good data can be brought to bear. For this reason, we have regularly published research on the gender, age and nationality of founders, directors and employees at UK startups and scaleups.

But diversity is obviously broader than those three issues. Unfortunately, good data cannot be found or created on the many other areas of diversity where we know anecdotally and instinctively that there is under-representation. This is why you won’t have seen us put out much publicly on these areas. And we are not the only ones facing this problem, as much of the data around minorities is highly-protected under the GDPR.

These are the special category data: personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin; personal data revealing political opinions; personal data revealing religious or philosophical beliefs; personal data revealing trade union membership; genetic data; biometric data (where used for identification purposes); data concerning health; data concerning a person’s sex life; and data concerning a person’s sexual orientation. You can read more about special category data here. The strength of these rules will also be a stumbling block to any forthcoming solution.

In order for Beauhurst to more meaningfully address the issues of under-represented ethnicities, sexualities and other minorities in the UK’s high-growth ecosystem, we need better data. Recent successes on the gender equality issue, such as the creation of HMT’s Investing in Women code, started from good data. Once the scale of the problem was evidenced, the existence of the problem was undeniable and the nature of the correct interventions could start to be determined. The issues of diversity where we do have good data are populated, in large part, by data we get from Companies House, and I believe Companies House is the best mechanism by which to collect comprehensive data on other diversity issues.

We hope to lobby the UK Government to get Companies House to seek data on ethnicity, sexuality, and other diversity issues from directors. This will still only yield a partial dataset: directors will be able to opt-out and/or not make their answers public. But even where they don’t make the answers public (which means Beauhurst won’t be able to use the data), I hope Companies House (or ONS) would be able to produce summary statistics.

Imperfect data should not stop us, or others, from presenting and analysing the issues of diversity in the UK’s business landscape. For this reason, we’re compiling this hub of known publications and resources on any aspect of diversity that’s available. Some of these we have contributed data to, while others are the exclusive work of others that we wish to amplify.

If you know of any research that you think should be included here, or would like to request data for research you’re conducting, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Henry Whorwood, Head of Research & Consultancy

J.P. Morgan Beauhurst Female-Powered Businesses Report

Female-Powered Businesses

In partnership with J.P. Morgan Private Bank, we’ve analysed the high-growth UK companies that are founded, led, owned or managed by women, ranking the top 200 by headcount growth.

cornerstone access to venture capital report

Access to Venture Capital

Together with Cornerstone Partners, Engage Inclusivity and Diversity VC, we've investigated how experiences in seeking and raising equity investment vary by founder backgrounds and founding team composition. Find out more inside.

Female Entrepreneurs research page cover

Female Entrepreneurs

In collaboration with Newable, we’ve highlighted key trends amongst, and disparities between, all-female, mixed-gender and all-male founding teams; from the funding they’ve received to the key support systems they’ve leveraged.

Resource Hub


COVID-19: Economic Impact on Age in the Workplace

Business in the Community · Factsheet

Doddery but dear?: Examining age-related stereotypes

Centre for Ageing Better · Report

Everyday Ageism in the Tech Industry

CWJobs · Report


Series Q

Network and events for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs

LGBT in Britain — Work Report

Stonewall · Report

Tech For LGBTQ

Tech London Advocates · Working group

European LGBTIQ Chamber of Commerce

EGLCC · Chamber of Commerce


Kaleidoscope Group

Fund and service provider for disabled entrepreneurs

The Stelios Awards

Leonard Cheshire · Grant award for disabled entrepreneurs

Tech For Disability

Tech London Advocates · Working group


One In A Million

Female Founders Forum · The Entrepreneurs Network · Report

UK VC & Female Founders

British Business Bank & Diversity VC · Report

Increasing Gender Diversity in Corporate Supply Chains

WEConnect · Global network

The Spinout Journey: Barriers and Enablers to Gender Inclusive Innovation

Oxford Brookes · Report

Inspiring Innovation

The Entrepreneurs Network · Report

Femstreet Weekly Newsletter

Femstreet · Free newsletter

Angel Academe

Female-focused angel network


The Scaleup Index

Beauhurst & The ScaleUp Institute · Report

Venturing into Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity VC · Report

Alone Together

Diversity VC & Oliver Wyman · Report

The State of European Tech

Atomico· Report

Included VC

Newsletter and Fellowship programme

Ada Ventures

Fund for underrepresented entrepreneurs

Backstage Capital

Fund for underrepresented entrepreneurs


Fund for underrepresented entrepreneurs

How Embracing Diversity Opens Global Opportunity

UKBAA, InvestUK & Lord Nathan Wei · Webinar

Everyday Inclusion

Business in the Community · Blog

Andy Ayim on Minorities in Tech

Andy Ayim · Free newsletter


Colorintech · Insights, events, free newsletter

100+ Diversity in Tech Initiatives in Europe

Sifted · Article

A Practical Toolkit for VC Funds

Diversity VC · Free toolkit

D&I Toolkit for Founders

Tech Nation · Free toolkit

Angel Investment in Diversity Best Practice Guidance

UKBAA · Free toolkit

Think we’re missing an important resource? Please let us know via email!