Stage 1 | Subject outline | version control

Business Innovation Stage 1
Subject outline

Version 2.0
For teaching in Australian and SACE International schools from January 2022 to December 2022.
For teaching in SACE International schools only from May/June 2022 to March 2023
Accredited in August 2018 for teaching at Stage 1 from 2019. This subject replaced Business and Enterprise.

Stage 1 | Subject outline | Contexts | Start-up business

Start-up business

In the start-up business context, students develop and apply their understanding of the learning strands through the context of a start-up business or a new product, service, or process. Through design thinking and assumption-based planning tools such as the Business Model Canvas, students engage in the process of identifying, exploring, and communicating the market potential of a product, service, or process, or viable new global and local business. Students may propose, develop, and test new products, services, or processes, or they may establish their own start-up business.

Finding and solving problems

In the start-up business context, students develop and apply their skills in finding and solving problems that matter to customers. Initially, teachers may lead students through structured processes to develop students’ understanding of the underlying problems in order to propose and test customer, problem, and solution hypotheses. As students gain confidence, they extend their skills to collaboratively interrogate and manage the process of finding and solving problems themselves. Students may work collaboratively to:

  • engage in structured processes to develop an understanding of how specific customers experience the problem in order to develop insights into customer wants or needs
  • propose, develop, and test possible solutions with identified customer segments
  • collect and analyse information and feedback to inform the iterative process of proposing, developing, and testing solutions
  • use product/service development tools such as the value proposition canvas to document observations and incorporate feedback to test and refine solutions.

Financial awareness and decision-making

In the start-up business context, students develop and apply their financial awareness and ability to make informed decisions in rapidly changing, dynamic business environments. In this context, students develop and apply decision-making skills through the use of assumption-based planning tools such as the Business Model Canvas. Students learn to make conscious decisions to refine their business model by engaging with customers and key stakeholders. Students develop and apply their financial awareness by examining a range of potential revenue models, pricing strategies, and cost structures associated with their business model.

Initially, teachers may present problems or scenarios to develop students’ financial awareness and understanding of decision-making processes in relation to the start-up business model. As students gain confidence, they extend their skills to manage the iterative development of the business model themselves. Students may work collaboratively to:

  • propose, develop, and test possible revenue models and pricing strategies within the business model
  • analyse and communicate the cost structures associated with the business model
  • determine cash flow requirements for their start-up business, including initial funding/capital and point of sale or terms of trade for customers.
  • analyse and respond to information that confirms or denies their initial hypotheses and assumptions
  • explore and use decision-making strategies in a start-up business environment
  • identify metrics and key performance indicators that will be used to monitor the start-up business model against planned expectations.

Business information and communication

In the start-up 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. Through the analysis of business information, students consider the viability and risk of failure of their 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 start-up business context, students develop their knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with designing businesses in the modern, connected world. They explore collaboration through digital connections and the diverse social and cultural perspectives involved in global collaboration. Students draw on this understanding to consider the viability of a start-up business and identify opportunities to enhance the business model by exploring potential global, local, or digital connections. They consider the social and environmental needs of communities when developing the business model for a start-up business. Students may apply this knowledge and understanding of global, local, and digital connections to:

  • analyse the intended and unintended consequences of the proposed business model on global and local communities 
  • connect with global and local communities to identify a need or social problem to which a business could respond
  • explore opportunities presented by digital or emerging technologies to enhance the business model.