Claud – who graduated with a degree in Sport Management in 2012 – is a relatively seasoned entrepreneur, having established his first business, aged 17.
It’s been quite a journey to get here, but I now feel like I’ve found my calling. I get to work on a business I love and change lives at the same time.
Cosmic Sports – launched it on a budget of just £10 saved from his lunch money – managed a successful series of basketball tournaments for young people.
Since then, Claud has been involved in a number of business ventures and is Director of Strategy for Cosmic Inc Ltd, the holding company of Dream Nation and The Creative Circle – a collective of freelance photographers and video artists which offers creative marketing services.
With Dream Nation, Claud wants to inspire others to become practical dreamers – people who strive to turn their dreams into reality.
He hopes to engage with people in a variety of ways – both online and in person – to encourage them to realise their potential.
Dream Nation’s first conference – I Have A Dream – in August 2013 was a great success. More than 400 delegates took part – either in person or online – and six speakers covered a range of topics including The Importance of Creativity, Failure, and Creating a Businesses that Changes Lives.
For every major event like this held in the UK, Dream Nation will host a free equivalent in a developing economy.
Running a social enterprise is a new departure for Claud which is why the support of the Studio is so important.
How has being a Studio member been helpful to you in developing Dream Nation?
The advice and support offered by Meg and the Studio’s network of mentors has been invaluable. I’ve learnt so much about the various funding sources available to organisations like mine.
I have also picked up a lot from the other Studio members. Surrounding yourself with your peers in a start-up community can drastically improve your business.
I’ve learnt that failing is okay – it teaches you so much. All start-ups look the same in the early days. Potentially, the only difference between success and failure can just be how hard you are willing to work and how well you apply the lessons learned. You have to have confidence in your idea and put the work in.
What facilities and support do you have access to?
I divide my time between Loughborough and London. When I’m in the East Midlands, I use the Studio as my main office.
The financial support offered by the Studio has helped me to secure a venue and key speakers for Dream Nation 2014 – this year’s conference.
What are your plans for the coming months?
I’m currently winding down my other business interests so that I can concentrate on Dream Nation. I’m expanding my team to support the introduction of a variety of events alongside our flagship annual conference. We are also in the early stages of planning a range of international projects in Malawi, India and Nigeria over the next 12 months. It’s a busy and very exciting time!