Barbara Stegemann

Barb Stegemann

CEO and Founder, The 7 Virtues | Social Entrepreneur

Barb Stegemann first launched her perfume company, The 7 Virtues, in her garage, armed with only a dream to help war-ridden nations rebuild. Just eight years later, it is now an award-winning social enterprise — supporting suppliers in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and the Middle East — and the first and only Canadian brand to be sold through Sephora’s “Clean at Sephora” space across North America. Through her inspiring entrepreneurial story, Barb shares powerful messages of triumphing over adversity, and empowers her audiences to embrace their inner disruptor.

A newsmaker, Barb first became known to millions of Canadians when she landed a venture-capital deal on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den — the first woman from Atlantic Canada to do so. She went on to become the “Top Game Changer” in the history of the popular reality show for creating her social enterprise.

Since then Barb and her hypo-allergenic fragrance collection have been celebrated in major media outlets around the world, including Vogue, Elle Canada, Fast Company, Forbes, The Cut, Women’s Wear Daily, The Globe and Mail, as wells as CBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and more.

Barb has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN; won the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in the emerging Entrepreneur category for Atlantic Canada; was ranked as one of Profit Guide magazine’s “Top 30 Cool and Fabulous Canadian Entrepreneurs”; and was also made the first female Honorary Colonel in the history of 14 Wing Greenwood base, Royal Canadian Air Force.

Barb is also the author of the bestselling book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, now in its 7th edition, and the subject of the feature-length, award-winning documentary Perfume War, directed by Michael Melski.


Business for Good

Barb Stegemann disrupted an industry from her garage, armed with only her personal visa card and a dream to help people rebuild in war-ridden countries.

Barb’s entrepreneurial vision was formed after her best friend — a soldier — was severely wounded in Afghanistan. Taking on his mission of peace, Barb founded The 7 Virtues, a company that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil to provide them with some economic stability.

Now, The 7 Virtues is a brand that is not only competing with other luxury perfumes, but has created a new movement of clean and conscious beauty at Sephora, the fastest growing beauty retailer in the world.

With compelling storytelling, Barb shines light on her innovative approach to business, and explains how social enterprise can be used as a new business model to excel in today’s marketplace and make a positive impact on the world around us.

“Nine out of ten Millennials will switch brands for one with a cause. We have a cause.”

– Barb Stegemann

Empowering Ourselves to Make a Difference

Barb Stegemann was raised by a single mom on welfare in rural Nova Scotia. Now, she is the founder and CEO of The 7 Virtues Beauty — a company that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil to create aromatherapy scents.

Beginning in her garage, armed with only a dream and her personal visa card, Barb disrupted the scent industry to become a brand that now competes with other well-known, luxury perfumes in stores across the world. The 7 Virtues Peace Perfumes is also the first and only Canadian brand exclusively sold through Sephora’s new “Clean at Sephora” space in both Canadian and US stores.

Through mapping out her inspiring entrepreneurial journey, Barb shares how she triumphed over adversity to live her dream. She shares powerful messages on how we can all make a difference through the work that we do, leaving her audiences motivated and empowered to believe in themselves, and turn their dreams into reality.