UVic student’s cricket-based dog treats send her to entrepreneur championships

UVic student's cricket-based dog treats send her to entrepreneur championships

When Danielle Lowe first launched her pet food business, she could have never imagined the demand for her product.

“Sometimes you’re just so wrapped up in it, like I’ll look back and I’m like wow, five months ago I was there and now I’m here,” says Lowe.

The University of Victoria student’s line of Doodlebug Pet Food cricket-based dog treats has been a popular hypoallergenic alternative for dogs suffering from meat intolerance.

“My sister got a dog, her name’s Billie, and she started to get really sick [and] we took her to the vet, found out she had a meat intolerance and from there on things just kind of fell into place,” says Lowe.

“We talked to veterinarians and I found out that around 30 percent of the dogs that go through vet clinics have meat intolerances, so it’s a huge issue.”

From feeding her sister’s dog to trying to keep up with online orders across Canada, Lowe’s side hustle has turned into a fulltime business.

“The demand for sustainable protein is massive, it’s only going up and people are wanting more and more sustainable goods,” says Lowe.

“Dogs are having more meat intolerances and then of course there’s more pet purchases and it was all these factors that go into making a growing business.”

Now Lowe is being recognized by Enactus Canada, a charity focusing on fostering post-secondary entrepreneurial talent, as one of the finalists for its student entrepreneur national championship.

“We launch the call for nominees in the fall and reach out to campuses across the country,” says Enactus Canada president Nicole Almond.

“We started with well over 300 nominations in the fall and through an application process and a digital judging of those applications, we narrowed it down to 12 finalists from across the country.”

The winner will take home $10,000 to help support their business, something that would go a long way for Lowe.

“The $10,000 cash prize would be huge,” says Lowe.

“Being able to scale my business, purchase more equipment [it] makes a massive difference in the success and viability of my business.”

Lowe and the 11 other finalists will make their pitch at the Enactus Canada National Exhibition running May 10-12.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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