Kentucky child care CEO is honored in D.C.

WASHINGTON (GrayDC) Small business owners from across the country are honored for the work they do growing their businesses and helping their communities.

Paul Isenberg, co-owner and CEO of Smart Start Child Care, is honored in D.C. during National Small Business Week 2019. (Source: Gray DC)

“To represent Kentucky, I take it as an honor,” said Paul Isenberg, co-owner and CEO of Smart Start Child Care.

Paul Isenberg, owner of Smart Start Child Care, is Kentucky’s Small Business Person of the Year. He started a child care learning center in his hometown of Bowling Green.

“It’s really humbling. It seems like just yesterday we were getting started,” said Isenberg.

Isenberg opened his first Smart Start location in 2011. Today, the company has four locations and teaches more than 400 children.

“Rapidly expanding. Got growth plans over the next few years,” the CEO said.

He credits the Small Business Administration with helping him get his start.

“It’s allowed us to get to where we have over 140 employees, we’re able to connect with all these families and help kids get ready for kindergarten and change their life, all because SBA took a chance on a young kid from Kentucky,” said Isenberg.

Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton says small business owners like Isenberg are perfect examples of what it means to be an entrepreneur—to invest in their communities and dream big.

“Small businesses, you hear the term, are the backbone of the country, they really are the engine that drives the economy,” said Pilkerton.

Entrepreneur Isenberg says his business’ success wouldn’t be possible without his wife.

“She basically keeps everything together, the glue,” he said.

“I think it definitely took a group effort, his strengths, my strengths, both of us working together, definitely lots of prayers,” said Stacy Isenberg, co-owner of Smart Start Child Care.

The Isenberg’s head back to Kentucky on Monday and say they will take lifelong connections made in DC and lots of inspiration back to the Bluegrass state.

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