Asetila Köstinger (Austria, Consulting) and Aleksandar Arandelovic (Serbia, Consulting)

HE Asetila Köstinger and NE Aleksandar Arandelovic in a video call

New Entrepreneur (NE):
Name & surname: Aleksandar Arandelovic
Country: Serbia
Age: 21
Sector of activity: Consulting
Did you already start your business? Yes
Name of business/website: CIM Consulting
What is your future business? CIM Consulting (CIM) is a start-up consulting firm focused on delivering a number of business development services to answer specific needs of companies which aim to achieve faster and sustainable growth. CIM offers a list of services, depending on customer’s particular business needs. These include: sales management services, marketing strategy services, strategic HR services, customer experience and loyalty inducing services, branding services and one catch all business development service package.

Host Entrepreneur (HE):
Name & surname: Asetila Köstinger
Country: Austria
Sector of activity: Consulting
Experience in running a business (in years): 7
Name of business/website: Koestinger Consulting,

Period of exchange: 04/01/2021 – 03/07/2021
Duration of exchange: 6 months

What benefits can two entrepreneurs active in consulting generate when they combine forces?

Asetila Köstinger is an Austrian entrepreneur with Balkan roots that helps founders and SMEs to build solutions that are technologically appropriate, environmentally sustainable, culturally acceptable, and economically viable. For over two decades she has worked as an expert and creator in different SME projects, private ventures, and start-up ecosystems.

Her journey started in Albania where she studied economics and international relations.

Her professional career began with working for European institutions, focused on supporting Western Balkans economic transformation. After moving to Vienna, she started her career again from scratch. She studied international business with focus on Business Innovation and started her own company Koestinger Consulting.

By now she additionally runs her startup Greenwell Energy, and projects like WeDO5 , SDG Innovation Lab and Export Stars which are all aligned with at least one of the SDGs.

Since 2019 she is chapter leader of Zebras Unite Vienna Austria.

Besides her wide range of activities within the consulting sector, Asetila is a social multipotentialite passionate about women empowerment through entrepreneurship.

Asetila speaks, trains, and writes regularly about the implications of inclusiveness, impact, and innovation in sustainable entrepreneurship.

Aleksandar Arandelovic is a young entrepreneur based in Serbia with international experience from Sweden and Vietnam, ect. He set up his own company CIM Consulting which focuses on business development especially within the fast-moving consumer goods sector. The main motivation for going abroad was the ability to learn from experienced entrepreneurs and being able to expand his network: “Being self-taught in the field of business development, I would like to learn how to best optimize portfolio of services and learn about best practices. Networking is one of the most important aspects of the business world today and having the opportunity to meet other companies helps me a lot.”

The exchange was an ideal match for both entrepreneurs, Asetila has profited from Aleksandar’s work style: “Because of Aleksandar’s can-do-attitude and his persistence, me and my team were able to create new prototypes like Export Stars and validate them in a very short time. He made an important contribution for us to be able to bounce back after the pandemic.”  Aleksandar was able to learn how to use new tools for product development and follow the process of business development with Asetila’s customers. Aleksandar made an essential contribution to Asetila’s business by leading the work on the SDG Innovation LAB Vienna, a 5-month accelerator pilot for SMEs.

“We had such a great collaboration, not only business-wise but also on a personal level. Being both from different parts of Western Balkans, a region with a long history of hate and conflict, the exchange had also important intercultural aspects. We both intend to work together further on, connecting our networks and supporting sustainable business development in Austria, in Southeastern Europe and elsewhere,” concludes Asetila Köstinger.