The choice of Geelong as a pilot site for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) made it a logical decision that a business which enables the disabled to make informed choices about services should launch its website centred on the city.
Now poised to expand into other states Clickability may well represent the first of many opportunities for entrepreneurs based on the ongoing roll-out of the NDIS.
Co-founder of Clickability Jenna Moffat, a qualified social worker, did not initially see herself as an entrepreneur when the website she describes as “Trip Advisor for the disabled community” was launched.
The catalyst for the business concept and the website stemmed from the arrival of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Jenna’s recognition that she and her partner were holding lots of information which was relevant to disabled people, in their heads.
“Until Clickability social workers had been consistently advocating for direct communications between services providers and the disabled person. Moving people who had been denied a consumer mindset had been a huge task.
“All disabled people had the same or similar problems. When we started to tackle those problems collectively and we could see the changes happening.”
In a business that started as a partnership, Jenna says there were lessons learned early on about over-communicating at times and the need for a better understanding of each other’s skills. Now a proprietary limited company with a growing number of employees, the next lesson was learning how to let go and give responsibility to others.
Reflecting on the entrepreneurial journey so far she said “we would back ourselves more strongly than we did at the outset. “
As the company expands, finding appropriate resources to replicate its success elsewhere may happen more quickly but will not be without its challenges.
Jenna advises those with similar aspirations as social entrepreneurs to have strong self-belief while immersing themselves in the communities they are working with.
“The label ‘social entrepreneur’ is not yet widely understood in Australia. It’s not about money and sometimes measuring outcomes is difficult,” she says.
But Clickability is already garnering supporters at the big end of town with a major bank providing the venture with a grant, mentoring and in-kind support.
Jenna sees more funding for NDIS leading to more opportunities in the sector, with the proviso that while it is a world-leading program “will it lift the country’s ability to look after those with disabilities?
“It is critical that consumers are mobilised and know their rights.”
The Clickability business model requires service providers to pay a subscription. Such providers range from those who grasp fully the idea of the business and website to those who are scared.
“We need to work closely with them,” Jenna says, harking back to the earlier challenges encountered of moving providers from an initial free to a paid service.
Nevertheless, overall engagement once a subscription was applied has increased.
The future will see Clickability add more services as well as address gaps in the geographic areas it covers. Jenna sees it as having international potential, either for the website or the work that goes on behind it.
The few businesses which might have represented competition do not appear to address the scope of Clickability’s services or they have disappeared after a short life.
Among the risk factors Jenna has identified is that the market may not mature as the two founders have envisaged. Long term success may well be dictated by how well the NDIS works.