Chris Arnold (entrepreneur)

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Chris Arnold (born 4 November 1972) is an entrepreneur and businessman from Liverpool, and the founder of Camp Leaders, Smaller Earth and the Co-founder of World Merit* and most recently Heroic Books Ltd.

Camp Leaders[edit]

Arnold founded his first company, Camp Leaders, in 1999.[1] After spending a summer working at a camp in the US, he founded the company to send young people from the UK to work in summer camps in the United States, recruiting 32 people in the first year.[2] On 11 September 2001, the company moved into its own office in Liverpool, after placing 65 people for its second summer.[3] In summer 2019, Camp Leaders supported over 8000 people to have a cultural exchange experience in the United States and has offices in 16 countries.

Smaller Earth Group[edit]

Arnold founded Smaller Earth in 2006.[4] An expansion on the concept begun with Camp Leaders, it creates travel and work opportunities that place young people internationally on projects that include conservation efforts, working with animals, building projects and coaching children.[5] Smaller Earth is the core company of the Smaller Earth Group, which now includes Camp Leaders, as well as other brands in technology, outdoor recreation, and entrepreneurial ventures.[6]

In 2010, the Smaller Earth Group launched the Your Big Year competition.[7] Your Big Year offers a prize of a one-year placement for the winner to travel around the world meeting with global and business leaders and working on various projects.[8] The winners in the first year were freelance journalist Carielle Doe of New York, and youth activist Michael Teoh of Malaysia.[9] The award is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.[10] The winner of 2012 Your Big Year was Charles Batte, a medical student from Uganda. Other members of the Smaller Earth Group include technology and design company Cleversteam, the web and design provider for the Smaller Earth Group, and fitness company Power To Be.[6][11]

World Merit*[edit]

In 2012, Arnold launched World Merit*,[12] a platform to create an online and offline community of talented young people internationally. It features the World Merit Fellowship program (formerly Merit Next) as its flagship program which is a year-long leadership training program in cities in the US and UK focused on developing skills in business, science and technology, entrepreneurship, politics and public service, culture and media.[13] The first cohort of World Merit Fellows started their leadership program in Liverpool on 20 July 2014.

World Merit organised World Merit Day on 24 July at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool. The day included the 'What Matters' Conference which saw over 14 hours of speeches and workshops delivered by inspirational people including Malala Yousafzai, the education activist who was shot by the Taliban.[14] Malala was also joined by world-renowned educationalist Sir Ken Robinson, acid attack survivor and TV presenter Katie Piper alongside Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group. Climate change activists Felix Finkbeiner of the Plant-for-the-Planet and Parker Liautaud were also present on the day. The World Merit Day culminated with a music concert featuring Space, Esco Williams, Mic Lowry, Nikki Belle and Hoodie Ledbetter.[15] As the only official youth focused event conducted as part of the International Festival for Business (IFB), World Merit Day saw many young people from different parts of the world.

Heroic Books[edit]

In 2020, Arnold became the co-founder of Heroic Books LTD with Helen Blakeman. A publishing company focused on the development and publishing of fantasy and science fiction authors. Heroic Books published its first novel in July 2020, titled A Testament of Steel by author Davis Ashura. Heroic is a member of the Publishers Association.


Arnold holds a BSc in Quantity Surveying from Liverpool John Moores University.[2]


  1. ^ GBBO Liverpool (10 November 2011). "Getting Liverpool Business Online: Case Study: Chris Arnold of Smaller Earth". Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b Alistair Houghton (18 August 2010). "Profile: Chris Arnold of Smaller Earth". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Chris Arnold | Interview". EN for Business. 11 September 2001. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Travel boss with vision to create a generation of world leaders; BIG INTERVIEW: Alistair Houghton talks to Chris Arnold, founder of travel firms Camp Leaders and Smaller Earth. – Free Online Library". Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Volunteer & Adventure Travel with Smaller Earth". 4 March 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  6. ^ a b "About Us". Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Entrepreneur profile: Chris Arnold". Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  8. ^ "BBC News – Two Africans short-listed among 100,000 young entrepreneurs". 14 March 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  9. ^ "A Conversation with the Winners of Your Big Year | Global Entrepreneurship Week". 8 March 2011. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Finalists Named for Your Big Year | Global Entrepreneurship Week". Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  11. ^ "About". Power To Be. 10 February 2013. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  12. ^ "World Merit*". 1 February 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Merit Next". Archived from the original on 23 March 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Malala Yousafzai talks gender inequality". 25 June 2014. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Malala Yousafzai talks gender equality at World Merit Day". 29 June 2014. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014.

External links[edit]