Stage 1 | Subject outline | version control
For teaching in Australian and SACE International schools from January 2024 to December 2024.
For teaching in SACE International schools only from May/June 2023 to March 2024 and from May/June 2024 to March 2025.
Accredited in August 2018 for teaching at Stage 1 from 2019.
Stage 1 | Subject outline | Contexts | Existing business
In the existing business context, students develop and apply their understanding of the learning strands through the context of an existing business, product, or service. Teachers may present problems or scenarios relating to an existing business, product, or service, or they may choose to enable students to engage directly with local businesses.
Through a structured approach to business improvement and change management, students engage in the process of identifying new opportunities while exploring and communicating the costs and benefits in terms of the overall business model.
Where students have established their own business, this may form the focus of study in this context.
Finding and solving problems
In the existing business context, students develop and apply their skills in finding and solving problems that matter to customers and stakeholders by proposing and testing solutions. As students gain confidence in the process, they extend their skills to work collaboratively to find and solve problems themselves. Students may work collaboratively to:
- collect and synthesise business, customer, and other stakeholder information to analyse the problem through tools such as root-cause analysis
- use business and customer information to iteratively propose and develop solutions
- develop and apply strategies to test and refine proposed solutions, making effective decisions during the process.
Financial awareness and decision-making
In the existing business context, students develop and apply their financial awareness and ability to make informed decisions in complex, interconnected business environments.
In this context, students develop and apply decision-making tools through the use of structured planning processes such as cost-benefit and stakeholder analyses. Students propose, develop, test, and make conscious decisions to modify key hypotheses in relation to their proposed business improvement or change plan by engaging with customers and key stakeholders.
Students develop and apply their financial awareness by examining the existing revenue models, pricing strategies, and cost structures associated with the business model before proposing changes to enhance the overall viability.
As students gain financial awareness and understanding of the decision cycle, they extend their skills to manage the iterative development of the business model themselves. Students may work collaboratively to:
- analyse and respond to business and financial information2 that confirms or denies their initial hypotheses and assumptions.
- explore and use decision-making and change management strategies in relation to an existing business, product, or service
- propose, develop, and test alternative revenue models and pricing strategies within the business model
- analyse and communicate the existing and future revenue streams and cost structures associated with the business model
- assess ongoing cash flow requirements of the business.
Business information and communication
In the existing business context, students develop their ability to collect, manage, and analyse business information in order to inform decisions in relation to their business model development. Students use this business information to assess the risk associated with the business model. Students communicate this information to a range of stakeholders including other students or co-workers, potential investors, and/or customers. Students may work collaboratively to:
- identify business information needs and implement appropriate data collection strategies
- analyse and communicate business information in order to provide business intelligence to the decision-making cycle
- propose, develop, and test business communication strategies and tools to target identified customer segments and key stakeholders
- select and use appropriate communication strategies and tools to engage effectively with other students, co-workers, potential investors, and/or customers.
Global, local, and digital connections
In the existing business context, students identify and explore existing and potential local and global connections within the context of an existing business, product, or service. Students consider digital and emerging technologies, sustainability, and ethics as they identify new connections and propose strategies for harnessing these within the existing business model. In their analysis students may:
- analyse the global, local, and digital factors that impact the business’s decision-making and affects its performance and strategies
- analyse the strengths, capabilities, and weaknesses of the business through analysis tools such as PESTLE
- analyse the environmental sustainability and business ethics of proposed improvements to the business model
- analyse and evaluate the continued effectiveness of the business in meeting a social or local need
- analyse and evaluate the opportunities provided by digital and emerging technologies in ensuring the sustainability of the business.
2 Students may access financial information from sources such as: