Winnipeg environmental enterprise composts a cleaner future

Vote to help Manitoba's finalist in the race for $100,000 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award Grand Prize

WINNIPEG, May 29, 2014 /CNW/ – The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning-point project, "Compost Kings", submitted by local businessman Dale Overton will represent Manitoba in the finals of the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award (BDC YEA).

Dale's project will see his environmentally-friendly composting business, Overton Environmental Enterprises Inc. (OEE), dramatically increase production capacity to meet growing demand across Canada, the U.S. and the Middle East. But to claim the $100,000 Grand Prize and fund this expansion, Dale needs votes from Canadians coast-to-coast.

Weaning our society from its reliance on harmful synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is no easy task, but OEE is getting down and dirty to sell the hard science behind its organic alternatives. It is already serving 150 clients in the agriculture, golf, horticulture and environmental industries, and demand is growing, both at home and abroad. Dale and his team plan to capture an untapped market opportunity by building and equipping a new 25-acre composting site.  This move is expected to double compost production to more than 50,000 tons a year.

"We're working to change the way people think about the environment and give them the means to reduce their use of chemicals and pesticides that contaminate the food we eat and the water we drink," says Dale. "Educating the public is a big part of what we do, we all need to understand there are effective and sustainable alternatives out there."

OEE's hardest workers are its worms. The company produces professional-grade plant-based thermal composts, compost-tea products, and worm castings, which rely on various species of worms to break down plant materials into a nutrient-rich compost that is low in contaminants. Producing in volume to a consistent standard of quality is a challenge in this business, but Dale and his team's scientific approach has allowed them to overcome these obstacles. As a result, they are currently in talks to supply major Canadian soil-blending companies that serve the consumer and professional markets.

Boosting production with a new composting pad will provide OEE with the scale it needs to secure business with large organizations, address growing demand for its products in Canada and tap into international markets. OEE predicts it could grow revenues by as much as 900 per cent by 2019, and, in the process, expand its research into new areas such as remediation of sites contaminated by petroleum products.

"Each of this year's finalists has shared a compelling story about how their business stands at that crucial crossroads where the right mix of vision and action can secure future growth and success," says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. "With his composting business, Dale is empowering his clients with the means to take action and reduce their environmental impact."

"Our products are game changers for many different industries," says Dale. "We are working for the social good. A vote for us is a vote for a cleaner and safer environment."

Voting for the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest runs from May 29 to June 12 at noon EST. To support your favourite project, log into the contest website and vote once a day. Follow the contest through updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Visit bdc.ca/awards to learn other ways in which BDC recognizes Canadian entrepreneurs. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner and runner-up will be announced on June 18. The runner-up will receive $25,000 in consulting services offered by BDC.

About the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest

Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest pays tribute to remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35.  This year, nine finalists were selected to compete for a $100,000 Grand Prize. A second prize of $25,000 in consulting services offered by BDC will be awarded to the contest runner-up. For the first time in 2014, a national committee evaluated the quality of the finalist projects and gave each finalist a ranking that will be combined with the public vote. The national committee evaluation was weighted to account for 30% of each project's final ranking and the public vote will account for the remaining 70% of the ranking. www.bdc.ca/yea.

About BDC

Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital, securitization and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity.

 

SOURCE: Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information: Maria Constantinescu, Senior Advisor, Public Relations, BDC, maria.constantinescu@bdc.ca, (514) 496-7146

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