+31624199561 j.stolker@etcn.nl

Story of NIMA training programs

My name is Jacco Stolker and here is our story about NIMA


As initiator of the NIMA training programs for the CIS countries I have  gained a broad experience in international educational  and business projects.

During  my frequent visits to Russia, Ukraine, Estonia and Moldova in the late 90’s I had the privilege to speak  with many employers, marketing professionals, students and recruitment specialists.  One subject always came up in the conversation:  Education and professional development.  The thing that struck me during these conversations was the lack of attention for practical education. All education was focused on knowledge and not on skills and practical implementation. Whilst speaking with local businessmen it also became clear that it was hard to find qualified marketing  professionals. It was a bit of a shock for me that  marketing was not seen as a profession.

As entrepreneur I saw an opportunity  for top level marketing training programs. A few things where very clear to me: If I really want to fulfill the demand in the market, the programs should be tailor-made for the specific market in Eastern Europe.


So, I decided to approach NIMA, the leading Marketing institute in the Netherlands and they immediately recognized the opportunity. Mid 2003 I started to develop the first NIMA based programs.

From the very beginning I had the concept  clear: the program should be offered in the Russian language, the trainers should be local marketing specialists with working  knowledge of marketing and understanding of the business culture.

The cooperation with NIMA guaranteed the international accreditation and recognition for  the programs, another essential requirement.

Last but not least, the programs should have to be very practical.  It took me more than a year to create  a program that fitted my goal:  to be the best marketing program available. Not in the least with great help from many professionals who  gave me feedback and advise for which  I am still thankful  as I am for the support of countless people who shared my vision.


I started the search for partners and luckily I did find dedicated partners in several countries. Key aspect in starting the program was, besides the concept and the partners, the selection and training  the right trainers. It was so great to see their enthusiasm about the concept and the program! Their dedication and motivation make me  feel proud to work with such a team of trainers.

In 2005 we started in Russia and again the reactions where very positive. I personally visited every exam and spoke with all students. A great experience! One of the first questions I used to ask was: “what rating would you give the program, on a scale from 1 to 10”? If they say 8, I asked them what we could do to make it a 10. This feedback was essential for me.

In the years following the introduction in Russia the NIMA programs were very successful  and  soon  I was able to add Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the list of countries where our programs are available.

Although I was proud of our NIMA programs, there was one thing that kept me occupied: How can I offer the programs not only in the capitals of the countries but also in regional cities for an affordable price without doing concessions in quality? The answer was obvious: offering an online version of the program. It took me some time to get used to that idea.

Honestly, I was always very skeptical about online learning. How could I guarantee the practical approach that is so essential for the success of our programs? In 2011 I “saw the light”: online learning combined with personal coaching. Every participant in the program gets a personal coach and on top of that,  the participant can choose between different packages in coaching.

I am proud on the new concept. I am proud to contribute to the development of the NIMA programs in Eastern Europe. I am glad to offer you the great new possibilities of our NIMA e-coaching programs.