Chances are that while your British ancestor didn't own a business he or she did work in industrial Britain.
Grace's Guide proclaims itself "the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 102,175 pages of information and 143,314 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them. Additions are being made to the information daily. Sources include:The Engineer 1856-1960; Engineering 1866- ;Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1847-1930 Obituaries and Works Visits etc.; Institution of Civil Engineers 1820-1930 Obituaries."
That's a huge amount of information.
I checked Duple Coach where my grandfather worked and found enough company history to contribute an extra paragraph next time I update his bio.
Via a tweet from 1PlaceStudtRegister.