Fast learning, fast growth: launching a business with help from the Digital Business Academy

Ed Willis, March 19, 2019 2 min read

Kayla Herbert had an idea for a business. She and co-founder Tom Dean Knight, wanted to give companies a simple way to write content that resonated with their customers. She knew there was value in her idea, but the challenge was turning it into a reality.

The free, bitesize courses on the Digital Business Academy helped her to do just this. She and Tom went on to start and build their Leeds-based startup Branswer.

Putting courses into practice

Kayla, a Tech Nation Visa alumna, needed to understand her customers and the problems the product could solve. So when a contact introduced her to the Digital Business Academy, she headed straight for the course: ‘How entrepreneurs talk to their customers’. There she learned how to find customers to speak to, how to ask the right questions and how to refine her idea.

Armed with some practical, actionable ideas for customer discovery, Kayla was able to put the techniques into practice straight away.

When the time came to think about acquiring customers, courses like ‘How to get your first 100 customers’ came in very useful. And looking to the future there’s a series of courses on raising finance, like ‘How to prepare for your first investment’.

Focused, fast, free learning

“I really liked that all the courses are bitesize”, Kayla says. “In no time I could take away some focused, practical insights, on topics that were most relevant to me. Without having to wade through endless text or videos”.

The mix of media, and interactive questions helped the courses feel fresh and useful. And the chance to test her knowledge helped her feel like she’d completed something.

“The Digital Business Academy breaks down some of the business language that isn’t always intuitive. I didn’t do a degree in business but the courses gave me the groundwork in things people expect you to understand when you’re pitching your company. Things like finance, balance sheets, profit and loss.”


DBA learners can earn points for every course they finish. They can claim benefits like exclusive discounts, mentoring sessions and more. As a book lover, Kayla snapped up the offer of unlimited books and audiobooks at Scribd. And to build her network she’s taken advantage of the free 12 month membership of Enterprise Nation.

Idea to reality

Kayla recommends the Digital Business Academy to anyone looking to start or grow their own business. At Branswer Kayla and Tom are helping their customers feel more confident about their marketing by helping them define their brand, implement it in their content and connect with their customers. Read more about Branswer.

Leeds, Adtech & Marketing, Digital Business Academy, Founders' Network, Early Stage