Our Story

The idea to build a marketplace for social enterprises came to Cheryl while she was selling pressed flower calendars to raise funds for a social project to help liberate child slaves. A few customers commented that they had previously bought calendars like this and really liked them, but did not know where to buy them again until she came along. A light bulb went on. Here was a major distribution issue, for which there were few solutions. That insight was the impetus for ACTSmarket – an endeavour to use e-commerce to enable social enterprises to sell crafts made by the needy that they serve.

Cheryl and three co-founders worked hard to define the brand and business strategy. ACTS Market Pte Ltd was incorporated on 24 Nov 2015 after a period of incubation at The Furnace, an incubator of the NUS School of Computing. In April 2016, the founders assembled a pioneer team of interns, volunteers and business mentors to build the e-commerce platform www.actsmarket.com.

The ACTS team is currently building a community by sharing their vision and values for effecting social change through a simple act of kindness – the act of shopping.


Our Founders

Cheryl Lee
Founder & CEO

A serial entrepreneur, certified executive coach and behavioural consultant, Cheryl is the visionary and chief architect of ACTS. Over three decades, she has acquired a breadth of experience in tourism, card marketing, FMCG, insurance, telecommuni-cations, publishing and financial services sectors, as well as functional expertise in entrepreneurship, operational consulting, marketing, PR and sales. She drives her team hard – but herself even harder.


Chiang Kwok Shong

Co-Founder, Fundraising

Shong held and holds directorships in a diverse range of companies; in fund management, entertainment, apparel and social enterprise.  He has deep experience gleaned over three decades of work in banking, fundraising, credit risk management and debt syndication.  Currently busy in the private equity and debt syndication space, he is connected like you wouldn’t believe.


Desmond Phua
Co-Founder, Digital Strategy & Customer Experience

Desmond is a proven digital marketer with over 20 years’ experience in travel, e-commerce and consulting, building func-tional expertise in corporate strategy, mar-keting, product and business development. Previously the head of customer experience and direct channels at travel portal Zuji, Desmond is an entrepreneur who obsesses over every nitty-gritty detail of the customer experience.



David Shaw

Co-Founder, Brand Strategy & Communications

David has carved a career in three phases: First as an advertising copywriter and creative director, then as a marketer and communications leader, before putting it together as a brand and marketing consultant. He’s lived and worked in two continents, held roles with an Asia-Pacific remit, been a conference speaker in five countries, and chalked up experience in start-ups to MNCs. This is his latest act.


Meet The First ACTS Community

A blend of diverse individuals unified by a heart to empower the poor and needy through e-commerce

The pioneer ACTS community of founders, interns, volunteers and NUS business mentors.

Absent are representatives of our pioneer and social enterprise partners and volunteers who couldn’t take time off work.

The ACTS community is a global network of people groups and organizations who share one thing in common: to use commerce as a catalyst to transform lives and communities by empowering the disadvantaged, disabled, oppressed, poor and needy.