The ACTS Community
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.
The people groups and organizations are: online shoppers, social entrepreneurs, marketing agents, independent artisans, business mentors & investors, volunteers, philanthropic foundations, non-profit organizations and companies with strong social responsibilities.
ACTS’ CONNECTION FOR SOCIAL IMPACT
Our connections within a social ecosystem can facilitate unity and collaboration that multiplies social impact.
The platform for the ACTS community to come together is ACTSmarket.com. At ACTSmarket.com, we can buy products, trade, share stories, exchange news and information, and facilitate the flow of resources (e.g. volunteers and funds) to solve socio-economic problems.
A simple act of shopping can impact a needy person living in a slum. Or create employment for a deaf-mute. It can put food on the table for his family for a day. Or stop his children from being trafficked. In this world, we are more connected than we imagine.
ACTS OF DOING GOOD, NOT JUST BUSINESS
The mission of a social enterprise is primarily to effect positive social and economic change. It seeks to deliver more than just monetary benefit. Profit is necessary for sustainability, but not an end in itself.
Through our business activity, we want to meet social needs, improve psychological well-being, help alleviate poverty, fight human trafficking, level the playing field of employment for the disabled, help the oppressed … the list goes on.
When implemented in a holistic manner – where the mission is worked out in and through the business, through our products and services, relationships – we can bring transformation to lives and communities more effectively.
WHERE CAN WE ACT FOR GOOD?
Business can effect social change in many arenas. However, we have a special concern for people and places where there are dire economic, social, environmental and spiritual needs.
In our cities :
- destitute people recovering from mental illness
- unemployed seniors of limited financial means with chronic health problems
- widows and single mothers who can only work from home
- women compelled by adverse circumstances to sell sexual favours
- disabled people
In rural villages :
- child slavery and children-at-risk of being trafficked
- poverty and unemployment
- former prostitutes with HIV
THE ACTS Community and Sustainable Social Impact
Social Enterprises can set up shops at www.actsmarket.com to sell their products. ACTSmarket leverages on the power of the Internet to help expand the reach of social entrepreneurs who market the crafts. Our core activity is building consumer traffic to the site, by providing marketing and technology services to the social enterprises.
For every dollar shoppers spend online through our website, 88¢ will go directly towards the social enterprises that serve people in need. ACTSmarket retains only 12¢ to cover credit card charges and administrative costs to keep our operations running.
Our secondary goal (to come later) is to provide a portal for volunteerism, forums, and blogs with the aim of raising awareness of social causes around the world, and facilitating the flow of resources to these causes (funds, volunteers, etc).
We believe that :
- Empowering the disabled, poor and needy is the key to helping them become independent, productive and free from bondage. Giving handouts may be suitable for the short-term; but in the long term, this encourages a ‘beggar’ mentality.
- Work gives dignity and builds self-reliance. By buying products made by the needy, we create employment and enable them to live normal productive lives.
- Shopping can be a simple act of kindness. We not only shop to look good and feel good, we can also do good as well.
- Business has the potential to generate wealth through a combination of creativity, risk and work. A profitable and sustainable business is able to create new jobs, drive new innovation and increase resources for society.
- Through business, we can alleviate poverty, eradicate social evils, improve quality of life, bring positive social change and carry with us the spiritual message of redemption.
Excellence, integrity, authenticity, faith, hope, loving and honouring ourselves and others – these are the enduring, foundational values that enable us to build superstructures of a meaningful, purpose-driven life.
Compassion that is based on mutual respect for one another, should drive what we do for others and how we relate with each other. Those more blessed should be given the opportunity to share and to serve; to lend a hand to the less fortunate in loving ways that build independence, and to restore dignity and hope.
Every human being is fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator. Regardless of age, ability, culture and circumstance, everyone is equally precious in His eyes.
Everyone has value and the innate creativity to realize their goals when motivated, enabled and empowered.
People grow from connections: connecting with one another, connecting ideas. Connection is a wellspring of creativity. When people connect and collaborate with one another, we enhance each other’s strengths; we create and innovate. Through collaboration, we multiply our efforts to help one another. Supporting social justice will yield good fruits for all, thus making this world a better place for us to live in.
In everything we commit to do, we strive for excellence and purpose.
Independence and Interdependence
We only have one world. So we should live in peace with one another and care for our environment. This means helping each other to be the best we can be. So we seek to build independence, as well as interdependence.
We are transparent about our goals and real about our expectations. We put purpose into profit. We cannot change the whole world, but we can change our little corner of it.
We are passionate about all that we do. We find joy when the needy become their best selves.
People and Relationships
We value people development and relationships above economic success. However, economic success is important to support people development and sustain relationships.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Our logo reflects a helping hand and freedom, and how one enables the other. When we extend a hand of friendship through a simple act of kindness – the act of shopping – we help someone break free from poverty through the work of their own hands.
The dove symbolizes freedom, peace and a messenger of good news.
The multiple colours represent diverse communities all across the world coming together to empower the needy to discover dignity and a sustainable livelihood through the crafts they make.
ACTSmarket is a social enterprise and tech start-up supported by the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise.
Join the ACTS Community now. Be part of this shopping movement that does social and economic good, paving the way for a better world.