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Success stories

Academia Musicale


Swansea musician launches a brand new online learning platform to help aspiring students with their knowledge of Music. 

An experienced musician and composer, Lisa Mears was presented with an opportunity to utilise her experience and knowledge and launch her own business. With help from the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service, she was able to start Academia Musicale – an online learning platform, helping students and musicians gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of music.

  • Start-up advice on busines planning, cash flow and marketing.
  • Successfully started and created 1 job.
  • Commitment to the Business Wales Equality and Green Growth Pledges.

Introduction to business

Set up by Lisa Mears in Swansea, Academia Musicale is an online learning platform aimed at students and aspiring musicians, who seek to gain a greater knowledge and broader context of music.

Why did you decide to set up your own business?

Since 2005, I have worked as a musician, primarily as a composer, performer / accompanist and educator. In recent years, I also had a couple of business ideas I wanted to pursue alongside maintaining my freelance work, one of which became Academia Musicale.

In 2018, a few students, who asked if I could help them with coaching for GCSE Music, approached me. I quickly devised a ‘study package’ for them based on all the requirements needed including composition, analysis, history, theory, aural and performance skills. While working with these students, it occurred to me that Music students anywhere could potentially benefit as it could easily be delivered as an online course, therefore, helping more students to achieve higher grades and feel more confident about the academic part of their musical studies.

Using the study package I had devised as a starting point, I developed an online course in General Musicianship and Music History to benefit students of GCSE and A Level Music by providing them with a broad context of the subject, which would help to fill any gaps in their knowledge. While working on developing the course, I attended several workshops during 2018 and 2019 with Business Wales, which were invaluable and educated me on how to start my own business.

My Business Wales adviser, Eve Goldsbury, on looking at various options, suggested I could contact Jonny Shipman of Invincible Media to develop the website. I chose the name Academia Musicale, designed a logo, and gave Jonny and his team an initial brief of the type of site I had in mind, leaving it to them to create. The finished website was excellent and really exceeded my expectations. Invincible Media assisted me with finding a platform to host the courses which could be amalgamated into the website - this was a great help as, not only was the technology side all new to me, it saved a lot of additional time on researching various course providers. Invincible Media continue to handle the website development, course hosting and technical side leaving me to focus on the creative content and developing the business.

What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge for me was being able to give the planning stages of research, development and writing up of courses as much time as I would have liked. The business took a while longer to set up than I had initially hoped, due to my having a busy schedule to maintain with my usual work in Music. As a result, work on the business idea was, for some time, a rather piecemeal approach. Balancing everything proved to be something of a juggling act but once the site was fully-launched, everything gradually started to come together bit by bit. 

Another challenge was, just as I was getting ready to start advertising with competitive and youth music festivals around the UK, the pandemic started, so all the festivals and events were cancelled and are now unlikely to resume until 2022. Instead, I have had to rethink my marketing strategy to focus more on alternative digital and social media opportunities, which has proved to be a big learning curve as I was new to social media.

Business Wales support

Business Wales supported Lisa with developing her business idea and putting a business plan together. Her adviser Eve helped with a wide range of start-up issues, including cash flow, IP, pricing policy and marketing.

Lisa also signed up to the Business Wales Equality and Green Growth Pledges and has committed to:

  • Deliver an accessible and inclusive service.
  • Consider and remove physical and social barriers to customers.
  • Ensure the well-being of staff and the local community.
  • Ensure the business is socially responsible.
  • Take steps to measure and manage the business’s environmental impacts.
  • Promote Academia Musicale’s good practice.


  • Start-up advice on business planning, cash flow and marketing.
  • Successfully started and created 1 job.
  • Commitment to the Business Wales Equality and Green Growth Pledges.

Eve Goldsbury has been a fantastic business adviser and since our initial meeting at a workshop in 2018, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her. Whether it is during a workshop or in a meeting, Eve is always there to give plenty of support and advice and is always prepared to go the extra mile. I really look forward to our meetings and Eve constantly has so many excellent ideas and brings a fresh perspective, which is much-needed when you are working on your own business. I always come away from our meetings feeling enthused, inspired and re-motivated ready to work on the next tasks!

Future plans and ambitions

Some of my plans include:

  • To expand the outreach of Academia Musicale.
  • The development of further courses.
  • A new provision of bespoke coaching sessions tailored to the individual which will be delivered online.
  • New features including interviews with musicians who can impart their expertise and experiences to music students.

If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter. 

Business Wales Helpline

03000 6 03000

Lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg.
We welcome calls in Welsh.