Scott Hillstrom – ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER
Chairman and Co-founder
First presented in 1982, this award is conferred upon an individual who is currently building a successful business venture. The recipient must exemplify the “entrepreneurial spirit” that franchising represents. He or she must demonstrate innovative management skills and be a risk taker in a franchise that has been in operation for at least three years, while remaining active in his or her community.
Scott Hillstrom’s work to meld franchising with the delivery of basic health care to families in developing countries mirrors the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit of franchising. By bringing together social sector franchising and commercial franchising, he has illustrated the positive impact of standardization to build a brand and address an urgent need. “Commercial franchising can do more to spare the world’s poor from needless suffering and death than just about any other method presently being attempted in the developing world,” says Hillstrom.
Hillstrom, an attorney, entrepreneur and business advisor, co-founded the HealthStore Foundation in 1997 after studying the causes of suffering and death among children in Africa. HealthStore’s mission is to promote the use of the commercial franchise model to deliver broader and better health care for less cost to the world’s poorest people. Today, the HealthStore operates 65 micro-clinics under the CFWclinics brand in Kenya. These clinics are owned and operated by nurses who serve poor communities to provide routine primary care and essential medicines along with health educational and prevention services.
HealthStore’s franchise business model incentivizes health care providers to comply with standards of care necessary to deliver effective health care in places where low standards result in needless suffering and death. Since opening the first clinic in 2000, Hillstrom estimates that approximately 4 million people have been served. Last year, the HealthStore Foundation licensed its system to a sister organization that is now developing the Rwandan market. This year it is supporting the implementation of a franchise clinic system sponsored by USAID, the foreign aid arm of the U.S. government, in Eastern Congo.
Hillstrom presently maintains a small law practice and serves on two company boards of directors in addition to leading an active volunteer role with HealthStore Foundation. Prior to co-founding HealthStore, he was a volunteer president for 10 years with Steiger International, a global youth-evangelism ministry. He was a managing partner of the law firm Hillstrom & Bale Ltd. in the 1980s. In the 1990s, he served as co-founder and managing director of Rehab One Inc., a multi-state network of hospital-based medical clinics.
Hillstrom is a member of the IFA Social Sector Franchising Task Force. He earned a juris doctor degree, graduating cum laude, from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul and a bachelor’s degree with honors in psychology and public health from the Univ. of Minnesota in Minneapolis.