Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Young entrepreneur worms way into awards finals

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"Worms are the unheralded soldiers of mankind," said Charles Darwin.

That's why worms are the heroes of Dale Overton's business, Overton Environmental Enterprises Inc.

The Winnipeg ecology expert has grown his creative composting company -- which effectively raises worms to make grade-A mush -- into a burgeoning business with international clients since 2007.

Now, Overton has been nominated to represent Manitoba in the finals of the Business Development Bank of Canada's 2014 Young Entrepreneur Award.

Overton said he was excited to be nominated, whether or not he wins the grand prize -- a cool $100,000.

"I remortgaged my house to build the business idea," said Overton. "(The award) would be a great accomplishment for me personally and would mean a lot for our team."

Overton Environmental specializes in making eco-friendly fertilizing alternatives to chemical pesticides, his major mandate being to make sure plant growers feel safe using his products.

The BDC award winner is chosen partly by a national selection committee (who claim 30 per cent of the votes) and partly by public voting. You can vote for Overton's Compost Kings project online at bdcyoungentrepreneuraward.ca.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 31, 2014 B9

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