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Uncovering New Business Opportunities in the Disability Sector


Macarthur Disability Services (MDS) wished to identify and develop new commercial opportunities that would deliver significant growth based around the emerging needs of their participants, still operating within the NDIS framework. The opportunities should be innovative, deliver social impact and be designed in line with evidence-based practice. The Strategy Group partnered with MDS to help achieve their strategic goal through insights, ideation, co-creation and business model innovation.


We used an approach grounded in human-centred design to uncover new business opportunities.

The Strategy Group started by conducting research using methods such as ethnographic observations, in-situ interviews and focus groups. The process was exploratory and was designed to actively uncover customer needs, the hallmarks of their current experience, their expectations and their points of view on disability support. The insights uncovered a number of opportunities areas for MDS to create new business opportunities to increase market share.

An ideation workshop was held with the MDS leadership team, internal MDS staff, participants and families and external stakeholders to capture a range of ideas encapsulating different perspectives and opinions. This was done to ensure buy in and involve key MDS stakeholders to be part of the solution ideation process. The ideas were then prioritised and consolidated by The Strategy Group to developed a combination of short and long-term value added initiatives that would drive tangible business outcomes. These initiatives can help transform MDS’ overall customer experience and significantly increase customer satisfaction.

Through a Strategy workshop, two solutions were chosen to be explored further in terms of their business models and long-term strategy. The ideas were designed from a customer desirability, business viability and technology feasibility perspective.

“The Strategy Group team used methods that engaged MDS staff, service participants, carers and community partners – I believe that it is this approach was integral to the quality of the project’s final deliverable.” 

– Jeff Scobie, CEO


There were a number of quick wins, medium-term and high impact initiatives that were developed for MDS. These initiatives allowed MDS to:

  1. Transform their overall customer experience and significantly increase customer satisfaction.
  2. Identify growth opportunities in the form of two social enterprise business models to drive tangible business outcomes.

MDS now has detailed strategy plans and business models for implementation to help move them into new horizons of growth and differentiate them from their competition.

“I was really pleased with the outcomes delivered by the work that The Strategy Group adopted. (It was) a partnership approach with the MDS team and by working together, we were able to gain invaluable insights into relationships that MDS has with its service participants and other stakeholders that will enable us to further develop and grow our services.

– Jeff Scobie, CEO
Design solutions that shatter assumptions, delight customers, and define growth possibilities sustainably

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