Headergrafik - Alumni

Marco Feelisch

Forbes 30 Under 30 // Europe 2019: Social Entrepreneurs

EBS Alumni Marco Feelisch founded in 2016 together with Jena Bautmans and Georg Wolff Buckle and Seam. Handmade, high-quality leather bags from Pakistan, which not only convince by their design and their fair price, but above all by the concept behind them: The founders design each bag themselves, are in direct contact with the manufacturers and regularly travel to Pakistan to convince themselves of the working conditions. In addition, the customer supports the education of a little girl in Pakistan with every bag he buys and gives her access to hygiene.

Marco Feelisch

EBS Alumni Marco Feelisch (middle) with Jena Bautmans (left) and Georg Wolff (right).


What was the biggest challenge in your entrepreneurial career so far?

The biggest challenge in my entrepreneurial career was clearly managing expectations. On the one hand, there are my own expectations - of me as a person and of my company. On the other hand, there are the expectations of my employees in Pakistan and Germany, which we naturally want to fulfill.

Ethics are also at the forefront in our company. It is and will remain difficult to weigh up ethical and business issues and assess their importance in the future. Here it helps me to keep the Code of Conduct of EBS Universität in mind. At EBS Universität, we have learned to assume social responsibility in addition to practical, scientifically sound and internationally oriented training.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs should constantly seek feedback, but take a critical look at it. In addition to feedback from friends, I regularly ask partners and co. with whom I have no personal relationship. You have to listen to people and customers in order to understand what you want to improve and on what you want to build. In addition, entrepreneurs should take time to reflect. What went well in the past? What went badly? What is my current objective? The world of start-ups is very hectic and fluctuating, and one likes to be carried away by it. However, a business can only grow as big as the managing director himself.

What mistakes would you have avoided?

At the beginning, I expected to grow my business as quickly as possible. I didn’t value our success enough. However, as a founder you should not only have the financial area in mind.

What brought you to EBS Universität at the time?

I wanted to attend a top university with an international outlook. I was completely convinced by the ethical concept of EBS Universität. All the inspiring personalities on campus, whether professors and lecturers, fellow students or alumni, were also a highlight.

To what extent did your studies at EBS Universität provide you with added value for your work?

Teaching at EBS Universität created my foundation. In the extra-curricular activities - I co-organized the EBSpreneurship Forum during my studies - you learn for life. The size of the university also means that you are very close to your fellow students. I made friendships that still last today. In addition, the university has a broad network of first-class companies that all students can and should use.

Your best memory of EBS Universität?

The Rheingau offers many opportunities and has a beautiful landscape. Sitting with friends on the Rhine in summer - that’s something I like to think back about.

What does the alumni network offer you?

The alumni of EBS Universität are well connected. Even during your studies, you get to know many alumni who have all gone their own way - founded their own company, gone abroad or work in a top company. Now I’m always thrilled by the numerous events that take place all over the world and have always invited inspiring speakers. I’m happy to meet my fellow students regularly - and I’ve already had one or two meetings with investors at these events.

Do you have (a daily) continuous routine(s)?

I cycle to the office every morning and in every weather for 20 minutes. That helps me to clear my head. I also try to be the first one in the office. This gives me time to answer my e-mails and start the day organised.

Who is your big role model?

At the EBSpreneurship Forum I got to know the Indian entrepreneur Suhas Gopinath. He founded his own company at the age of 13. Later I did an internship in his company.

What are your goals in 2019?

In 2019 I would like to establish an independent management in our company. More importantly, we are committed to donating 3% of our sales per bag sold to Anum School in Pakistan. At the moment we are supporting 120 female pupils, this number should grow to 150!

Read more:
30 Under 30 // Europe 2019: Social Entrepreneurs

Headergrafik - Alumni
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