As a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, Gregory Allen travelled to eSwatini for his International Development Studies Co-op placement. From August 2017 to June 2018, Gregory Allen worked as an Administrative Assistant for Trade+Impact (T+I), a member based association which provides training, marketing services, and networking opportunities to women-led social enterprises across Africa and the Middle East through an innovative online platform. Gregory also spent half of each week working with Swaziland Fair Trade, a member based association that provides training, marketing services and networking opportunities specifically for fair trade businesses in eSwatini.
During his placement, Gregory had the opportunity to assist in building and managing T+I’s online networking platform. Gregory also had the opportunity to demonstrate his creative skills by creating graphic design pieces for Swaziland Fair Trade. His work also involved building T+I’s database, isolating trends in the fair trade market, and conducting research on women-led social enterprises across Africa and the Middle East. During his mandate, Gregory also managed a translation team to ultimately translate the entire T+I online platform from English to French and managed member-clients’ membership purchases and general inquiries.
Gregory’s research focuses on exploring the role of fair trade marketing in producing knowledge about the people, places, and cultures from which products are developed, using the eSwatini craft sector as a case study. His research is designed with the aim to help workers within the fair trade sector to understand how to dissect their own actions and positionality with regards to representing cultural contexts different from their own.
Gregory spent his free time driving around the eastern regions of South Africa, going on safari trips, hiking, and visiting artisans around eSwatini.