Tech City UK Blog

We were delighted to recently partner on independent research commissioned and produced by Wayra UK, Telefónica’s digital start-up accelerator, which has revealed findings that reinforce the United Kingdom’s position as one of the world’s most diverse startup ecosystems. The StartupDNA research also offers key insights into the significant impact diversity is having on the country’s newest businesses.

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Compared to the United States, those working in UK startups were five times more likely to be female; two and a half times more likely to be under the age of 36 and ten times more likely to be from a different ethnicity, other than white and Asian.

Released at the start of London Technology Week, the research uncovers London as the torchbearer for diversity and fundraising in the UK, and also seems to be attracting diverse groups into the sector. The research found that the capital was three times more likely to have women working within its startup community than both Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv. The capital is also hot on the heels of New York City – identified as the world’s leading hub for female entrepreneurs – with over 24% of women identifying themselves as being in a leadership role.

Key findings:

  • Of the 34% who come from outside the UK, 20.7% are from the European Union, with 13.3% from elsewhere
  • 79% of respondents work in digital startups
  • 29% of women in the UK identified themselves as being in a leadership role
  • Women are 3.5x more likely to be attracted to a startup that’s more diverse, than men
  • Start-ups are 36% more likely to have female leaders than FTSE100 companies
  • Commercial success is 298% more likely than social impact to be a company focus. However, women are 32% more likely to note social impact as their main business focus, than men
  • Over 50% state global reach as being an aim for their business
  • 59% speak another language with women 45% more likely to speak another language than men

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Those working within British startups also believe diversity to be a key driver in their acceleration with over 78.9% declaring that it has helped their business compete; 75% declaring it has helped them overcome challenges and 71.5% agreeing it helped them find new markets.

For a full overview of the findings, please visit