Looking for a way to pick her working hours and spend time with her newborn daughter, Joanne Bass, 41, decided to become her own boss in 2010, using £3,000 of her savings to set up a website. Now a mother of four, she runs this Peterborough firm that sells exhibition and promotional equipment such as display stands, signs and banners. Turnover hit £5.5m last year thanks to new customers and repeat business from blue-chip clients such as Virgin, Unilever and John Lewis. About 50% of products are made in-house at XL’s 28,000-sq-ft production facility.
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