Diversity across the UK’s high-growth startups and 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 providing data and analysis we have felt limited to speaking about issues where good data can be brought to bear. For this reason we have published regularly about the gender, age and nationality of founders, directors and employees at startups and scaleups.

Diversity is obviously broader than those three issues. Unfortunately good data cannot be found or created on the other areas of diversity where we also 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. We are not the only ones facing this problem: 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.

But 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 will 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 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 to make their answers not 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.

But 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 are compiling in this hub all the known publications and resources on any aspect of diversity that is available. Some of these we have contributed data to, others are the exclusive work of others that we wish to amplify. If you know of research that you think should be included here, or would like to request data for research you are conducting, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Henry Whorwood, Head of Research & Consultancy

Female Entrepreneurs research page cover

Female Entrepreneurs

In collaboration with our friends at 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.

cornerstone access to venture capital report

Access to Venture Capital

In collaboration with Cornerstone Partners, Engage Inclusivity and Diversity VC, this ground-breaking report investigates how experiences in seeking and raising equity investment vary in relation to founder backgrounds and founding team composition.

200 female powered businesses cover

Female-Powered Businesses

In partnership with J.P. Morgan Private Bank, we’ve analysed the 6,085 high-growth UK companies that are founded, led or managed by women, ranking the top 200 of these businesses, based on growth in sales, headcount, and valuation.

 Resource Hub


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

Here & Now

The Entrepreneurs Network · Report

Resilience & Recovery

The Entrepreneurs Network · Report

Femstreet Weekly Newsletter

Femstreet · Free newsletter

Angel Academe

Female-focussed angel network

Race & Ethnicity

Diversity Beyond Gender

Extend VC · Report

Impact of Covid-19 on Black and Ethnic Minority-led Businesses

Extend VC · Report

The Black Report

10×10 · Report

Receipt of Start Up Loans by Ethnicity

gov.uk · Raw data

Increasing Ethnic Diversity in Corporate Supply Chains

MSDUK · Procurement hub

Barclays Black Founder Accelerator

Barclays · Accelerator programme

Minority Businesses Matter

MSDUK · Report

Tech Nation Libra

Tech Nation · Accelerator programme


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


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


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


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

DiversityVC · Free toolkit

D&I Toolkit for Founders

Tech Nation · Free toolkit

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

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and research on the UK’s
most exciting companies

'Honestly, the Beauhurst newsletter is one of my Thursday's highlights'