Navigation Menu

Stage 2 | Subject outline | version control

Business Innovation Stage 2
Subject outline

Version 4.0
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 2 from 2020. 

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Contexts | Designing business

Designing business

In the designing business context, students develop, apply, and extend the learning strands through the context of a ‘start-up’ business. Using design thinking and assumption-based planning tools students develop an idea for a product or service and investigate its potential viability. The iterative process of developing ideas enables students to pivot as they refine their initial assumptions and manage uncertainty. Students use a customer-focused approach in which they develop a deep understanding of customer needs. Using this customer-focused approach, students gather and analyse information to generate business intelligence and use it to identify potential commercial opportunities. Through the development of their proposed solution, students evaluate the potential success or failure of the solution in meeting customer needs. They communicate their plan to exploit this opportunity through tools and strategies such as business models, pitches, and business plans.


In the designing business context, innovation is the process of finding and anticipating, and solving problems and needs that matter to customers. Students apply their knowledge and understanding of this process to identify and exploit a ‘start-up’ business opportunity. Students:

  • develop and apply customer-focused approaches to identify and anticipate customer needs and problems customers want a solution for
  • explore these needs and problems, and build understanding of their customers through generating and evaluating a range of qualitative and quantitative data 
  • use a range of critical and creative thinking strategies to identify, test, and develop original solutions to customer needs or problems. 

Decision-making and project management

In the designing business context, students apply their skills in decision-making and project management using digital tools and traditional methods to track and manage the development of the ‘start-up’ business model. Students may work collaboratively to:

  • explore the digital project management tools available to track and manage the development of the business model through mock-ups, prototypes, and/or storyboards
  • manage the collection and processing of information generated from the other learning strands 
  • track their progress towards the development of a viable business, product, or service, including milestones, decision points, and assessment of risk
  • respond to customer feedback or product testing to develop and refine a business model. 

Financial literacy and information management

In the designing business context, students apply their skills in financial literacy and information management to record, interrogate, and interpret information in order to report business intelligence.
To inform the development of a viable business model using this information, students may:

  • use SWOT analysis, break-even analysis or other price setting strategies to examine proposed cost structures and revenue models to determine the total revenue and costs of the business
  • use break-even analysis to identify if the business is commercially viable (on paper) or at risk of failing, and estimate the likely time needed for the business to return a profit
  • manage the development of the business model using planning tools such as the Business Model Canvas 
  • synthesise, evaluate, and communicate information from a range of data sources to inform decision-making, such as customer surveys, idea generation, and evaluation cycle and user feedback
  • develop a business plan and make a pitch to an investor or business partner.

Global, local, and digital perspectives

In the designing business context, students apply their knowledge and understanding of global, local, and digital perspectives to consider the viability and responsibilities of a ‘start up’ business. Through stakeholder connections, students investigate ways in which a ‘start-up’ business can contribute and respond to local and/or global economic, environmental, and social issues.

Students explore the opportunities and challenges posed by digital and emerging technologies for a ‘start-up’ business. Students may apply this knowledge and understanding of global, local, and digital perspectives to:

  • analyse the roles, responsibilities, and legal requirements of business, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives 
  • explore the opportunities and challenges of operating in a socially and culturally diverse business environment
  • connect with non-government organisations and engage in research to identify a need or social problem to which a business could respond 
  • use business intelligence to generate a range of viable options in response to economic, environmental, and social opportunities and challenges 
  • explore the potential intended and unintended consequences of economic conditions to develop sustainable and ethical business models
  • identify, explore, and analyse ways to incorporate digital or emerging technologies to enhance the ‘start-up’ business model.