Former banker and IT professional Stuart Conroy, 42, left the City in 2000 to set up Activ8 with £20,000. The Hertfordshire firm began as an online distributor, supplying independent stores and retailers with accessories for mobile phones and other hand-held devices. In 2007, Conroy remortgaged his home to invest a further £40,000 in the business. The following year its turnover was £500,000, with sales reaching £11m this year. Activ8 designs and makes products in China, and has recently developed its own brands and expanded onto the high street.
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