Two Victorian social workers who are taking on a multibillion-dollar market have expended their TripAdvisor-inspired platform for disability services into New South Wales.
Victorian startup Clickability, founded by Aviva Beecher Kelk and Jenna Moffat, serves two ends of the market: people living with a disability and service providers. After launching in Victoria in 2014, it has now opened its doors in a second state.
People with a disability have choice and control in the services they purchase “for the first time ever”, says Beecher Kelk.
“As a consequence there’s a marketplace,” she says.
Clickability estimates the market opportunity to be in the vicinity of “$40 billion” considering that by 2019, 460,000 people around Australia will have access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which by that time will have a budget in excess of $22 billion a year.
The idea for the Clickability platform was sparked from a fundamental problem Beecher Kelk and Moffat experienced as social workers when working with clients suffering from mental health issues and acquired brain injuries.
“A big part of my role was to help people link into the services that they needed,” Beecher Kelk tells StartupSmart.
But instead of being able to freely share information about the services available, the pair had to first assess clients for eligibility on criteria like age and circumstance to determine if they should help or turn them away.
“We were gatekeeping information from people … which is a really disempowering way to work with people,” says Beecher Kelk.
Looking at the success of information and review platforms in other industries like hospitality and travel, Beecher Kelk and Moffat realised they could use this model to make information about disability services public and more easily accessible.
After completing a successful trial in Geelong alongside a pilot for the NDIS in 2014, they began growing the platform and team. Beecher Kelk says Clickability is now operated by about 10 volunteers and paid staff from around Australia.
“We built the original site using our personal savings and we received [$10,000] from Macquarie Group through the School for Social Entrepreneurs that funded our pilot,” says Beecher Kelk.
“GoGet contributed $450 towards our transport to and from Geelong during the pilot phase [and] we received a joint Social Change Fellowship from Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, which supported our professional development.
“We [also] have such a huge network of advisors and mentors in the field, everyone from lawyers and accountants to senior management.”
The platform now features 1000 service provider listings and 500 reviews, she says, and it’s visited about 200 times a day.
“We have over three times as many registered users as we did a year ago,” Beecher Kelk says.
Businesses, startups and operators can list on the platform on a subscription basis. Fees are determined by the size and need of each company but start at $460 a year.
With businesses in the care sector now seeing the people they serve as customers, Beecher Kelk says the market is being transformed into one where service providers must focus on building strong brands and valuable experiences for clients.
“It’s a brand new experience to be a customer in this sector and to have customer rights,” she says.
“In the past there has been a huge amount of retribution for giving feedback.”
As the Clickability platform continues to grow, Beecher Kelk says the goal is to feature a wider range of services and businesses that cater to the large population of people living with disabilities across Australia and New Zealand.
“Our vision is for consumer rights to not be a big deal for anyone and for all consumers of all services to have full access to everything that they need and should be entitled to,” she says.
“We’d love to have this directory expand into mainstream services like local pools [and] to advocate for society to be inclusive.”