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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 | Sustaining business

Sustaining business

In the sustaining business context, students develop, apply, and extend the learning strands through the context of one or more established businesses. Through this context students develop an understanding that a strategic approach to sustaining a business is necessary to prevent decline. They focus on the skills, knowledge, and understanding required to sustain viable businesses.


In the sustaining business context, students apply their knowledge, understanding, and skills in the processes of innovation and design thinking to identify problems within an existing business(es) and develop a strategic approach to ensure its sustainability in the future. In this context students expand their understanding of customer-focused approaches to include all stakeholders. This approach enables them to investigate ways to solve problems, add value, and future-proof the business(es). Students:

  • investigate industry trends and apply user-focused approaches to identify problems and propose solutions to sustain the business
  • analyse and evaluate information to create business intelligence
  • analyse and evaluate the use of digital and emerging technologies in future-proofing the business.

Decision-making and project management

In the sustaining business context, students apply their skills in decision-making and project management to review the business and make recommendations to ensure the business is sustainable. Students may:

  • analyse the sustainability, strengths, capabilities, and weaknesses of the business through tools such as SWOT analysis
  • develop an action plan to maintain strengths, respond to problems, and manage risk identified in the SWOT analysis
  • manage the collection and processing of information generated from the other learning strands
  • track progress towards milestones and decision points 
  • use continuous feedback to inform responsive decision-making.

Financial literacy and information management 

In the sustaining business context, students apply their skills in financial literacy and information management to consider financial statements and develop KPIs as inputs into the decision-making process. In creating business intelligence, students may:

  • use tools such as SWOT analysis or PESTLE to review the existing business plan, including cash flow, debtors, and financial ratios, and so provide inputs into the decision making process and assessment of risk
  • synthesise, evaluate, and communicate non-financial information from a range of data sources to inform decision-making (e.g. staff well-being surveys, employee turnover data, customer satisfaction)
  • analyse and communicate financial information to measure performance against the KPIs
  • use outcomes from break-even or cost-benefit analyses to assess the viability of solutions
  • identify, explore, and communicate areas of risk.

Global, local, and digital perspectives

In the sustaining business context, students identify and explore local and global conditions and the implication of these for the sustainability of one or more existing businesses. Students consider digital and emerging technologies, sustainability, and ethics as they investigate ways to ensure commercial viability and social responsibility. In their analysis, students may:

  • analyse the global, local, and digital factors that impact the business’ decision-making and affect its performance and strategies
  • analyse the strengths, capabilities, and likelihood of failure of the business through tools such as PESTLE analysis
  • analyse the opportunities and challenges of collaborating in culturally, linguistically, and socially diverse teams
  • evaluate the impact of changing legislation frameworks (e.g. award rates, equal opportunity requirements, free-trade agreements, Native Title)
  • 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.