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KfW (Germany)


Stefanie Degle firmly believes she has found the perfect job. She is pursuing her dream, having inherited the passion for hand-made footwear from her grandfather who was also a shoemaker. Although they never met, Stefanie feels she has the traits of craftsmanship in her blood. Following her apprenticeship and a master’s degree obtained in 2013, Stefanie specialised in physiological shoes and started her own business in summer 2014. The shop featuring her initials – named the “DS Feet Centre” (DS Fusszentrum) – is located in her native town of Waldkraiburg in Bavaria, Germany, about sixty kilometres east of Munich.

The KfW Bank, an EIF shareholder, supported her already during the apprenticeship, therefore it was only natural that Stefanie grasped the opportunity of the Bank’s “ERP Gründerkredit – StartGeld” programme to purchase the necessary equipment and become an entrepreneur. KfW’s initiative is supported by an EU guarantee under EIF’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

Her workshop is now well equipped with sewing, stitching and grinding machines as well as other tools that allow Stefanie to manufacture entirely tailor-made shoes or to offer repair services. Four to five pairs of shoes are produced in her atelier per week - ranging from slippers to boots. “I need to take into account the individual needs of each of my client and offer a customised solution. A 2D scanner and a 3D footprint machine help me to analyse the walking pattern of my customer and take exact measurements for the required footwear. Ultimately, feet are to the human body what a foundation is to a house. If a house has problems in its foundation, consequences are seen up to the roof. The same goes for our feet: if they have problems, one feels it throughout the body and up along the spine” says Stefanie. Currently, Stefanie works with her partner, also a footwear manufacturer, who has temporarily kept another job until the DS Feet Centre becomes fully operational. They are optimistic and confident this is soon going to happen.

Company: Stefanie Degle – DS Fusszentrum (Germany)
Type of business: 
 Handcrafted physiological shoes
EU-guaranteed loan from K

For further information abiout EiF intermediaries in Germany, please refer to:


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