Your Gift To Empower
A PURCHASE FOR YOURSELF, A LIFELINE FOR SOMEONE ELSE
ACTSMARKET.COM is the Ecommerce shop and sales arm of ACTSmarket Ltd, a non-profit marketing and enabling organization, based in Singapore.
The mission of ACTSmarket Ltd is to eradicate poverty and its evils by using commerce as a key. We aim to mobilise communities to collaborate with one another, with the common goal of transforming lives and needy communities in Asia. Our core activities are:
- implement projects to create dignified employment and impart skills to handicapped and needy persons;
- educate consumers about the importance of ethical shopping;
- raise funds and other resources to fulfill our mission; and
- build capacity for our social enterprise (SE) producers.
Working closely with our SE producers, we strive to bring you quality products that are both appealing and ethically made. Behind every handmade product is an artisan’s story of grit and determination to live a life of self-reliance and dignity. We only work with like-minded SE producers that pay fair wages and provide humane working conditions, especially to those vulnerable to exploitation. Consequently, many of our SE producers provide more than jobs; they also provide other services to their workers such as medical treatment, counselling, and rehabilitation.
Our hand-made, artisanal products are available through our pop-up stalls and e-shop (www.actsmarket.com). ACTSmarket offers you a unique opportunity to empower these needy artisans through a simple act of kindness – shopping.
Our Social Enterprise (SE) Producers & Partners
- Singapore Anglican Community Services - this IPC (Institution of Public Character) serves 3 groups of needy people – widows and single mothers, recovering mental patients and persons with autism.
- Tamar Village – a ministry arm of Mercy Ltd, a non-profit organization based in Singapore. Tamar Village runs a 3-year program for the rehabilitation of former sex workers in Geylang.
- Care Channels International – a charity organization headquartered in Singapore which runs programmes to improve the livelihoods for slum families in Philippines and Indonesia
- Operation Hope Foundation – a registered charity based in Singapore that operates 2 children’s homes in Cambodia and Nepal that care for orphans, abandoned children and needy children whose parent(s) are unable to care for them.
- Abonzo Coffee – a business started by a pastor cum social entrepreneur to solve drug problems among the Ahka tribe in Doi Chang, Thailand. The social enterprise provides jobs for young Akhas and pays fair coffee prices to poor farmers.
- D.F. School of the Blind, Kolkata- offers needy blind children a full education program in Braille and a range of vocational training programs, including weaving and sewing.
- Village Artisan – Founded by a Canadian couple to provide jobs for needy persons vulnerable to exploitation in northern India.
- Freeset Global, Kolkata – a social enterprise based in Kolkata’s infamous Sonagachi, the largest red-light district in South Asia, to rehabilitate former sex workers by empowering them with the skills to make quality fair trade bags and t-shirts.
- Touch Nature, Kolkata - provides employment to rescued young girls from Nepal who were trafficked into Kolkata. They make soaps using natural ingredients and essential oils.
All our products are sourced or made according to ethical standards. On-site inspections are carried out at least once a year, to ensure that workers are safe and treated fairly in their workshops. Workers must be paid fair wages or wages above the average rate for similar work in their communities. The process for making the products or its major product component must be environmentally sustainable.
Not For Profit But Operate Like A For-Profit
The unique challenges that we face in serving our handicapped and needy beneficiaries necessitate us to be a non-profit entity. As a non-profit entity, it is easier for us to raise funds and mobilize volunteers among friends, kins, foundations, companies with strong CSR culture etc, than from profit-seeking investors who expect good returns. At the same time, we are competing in the marketplace with other commercial companies who normally do not use handicapped or exploited persons with psychological problems. Therefore, we have to operate as cost-efficiently as possible, and yet be true to our social mission of empowering the handicapped and needy.
Are We A Charity?
ACTSmarket Ltd is not yet a registered charity, but we are a non-profit entity, a public company limited by guarantee, without any shareholders. Our members will not share in any surplus or profits. Any surplus must be used to fund projects or activities that will benefit our beneficiaries or be kept as reserves for future programs. Certain fund-raising events would require us to apply for a permit with COC (Office of the Commissioner of Charities) and therefore such fund-raising activities would subject us to COC regulations. Our appointed auditor is Baker Tilly TFW for YE 2018. We regret that we cannot give you any tax benefits for your sponsorship or private donations but rest assured, in compliance with Section 40C(15) of the Charities Act, not more than 30% of the total receipts will be used to cover our administrative and marketing costs.
Our vision is a global community of diverse people groups that are connected together with the common purpose of effecting social change through commerce. To create an ecosystem of change, a marketplace is necessary to bring together: social entrepreneurs and their beneficiaries, business mentors, volunteers, philanthropic organizations, companies with social responsibility and socially conscious consumers. We harness the power of marketing and technology in:
- improving the flow of goods from poor villages to affluent cities. And improve the distribution of wealth and resources.
- providing a e-commerce platform that can enable SEs to be more efficient in handling order fulfilment, customer service and inventory management.
- providing data analytics to help SEs improve their understanding of what consumers want, product designs, project sales and improve their overall production process.
- a portal to highlight social causes, promote volunteerism and facilitate the flow of resources to social causes.
Our primary group of beneficiaries consists of the handicapped, poor and needy, and the social enterprises that are founded to serve them. Our secondary beneficiaries are not handicapped or needy persons but socially conscious persons or entities who are looking for opportunities to serve as volunteers, be a sponsor or donor so that they can find meaningful purpose and social returns for contributing their time, talents and resources. These can include companies, foundations, societies and schools.
We believe that empowering the disabled, poor and needy is the key to helping them become self-reliant and productive. Giving alms may be necessary for the short-term but in the long term, may cripple them psychologically and encourage a “beggar” mentality. Instead, creating jobs and training them with skills empower them to live a productive life with dignity. In this way, shopping at ACTSmarket becomes a simple act of kindness. We shop not only to look good and feel good, but we can do good as well.
Our logo is a montage of a hand and a dove. As a bearer of peace and good news (symbolized by the dove), we also extend a hand of friendship and help to the needy. The multiple colours represent the diverse communities around the world coming together with a shared purpose of empowering the needy to live in freedom, hope and dignity through the crafts they make.
Together, We Can Make A Difference
If you have a talent or resource, or just want to contribute your time in a meaningful way, we welcome you to join us. We are looking for sponsors, product designers, party hosts, project managers, writers, fund-raisers and community builders.
For enquiries, please email to Cheryl Lee, Director of ACTSmarket Ltd at [email protected]