Barb Stegemann

Barb Stegemann

CEO and Founder, The 7 Virtues | Social Entrepreneur

Barb Stegemann’s entrepreneurial vision was formed after her best friend—a soldier—was severely wounded in Afghanistan. Understanding that supporting Afghanistan’s economy was key to building stability for its people, Stegemann launched The 7 Virtues out of her garage armed with only a dream to help war-ridden nations rebuild. Her company sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil (such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Rwanda and beyond). Despite addressing complex global matters in her talks, Stegemann uses humour to show how individuals can use business for good and effect change, both at home and across the globe.

A decade later, The 7 Virtues  is now an award-winning social enterprise. It’s also the first and only Canadian brand to be sold through Sephora’s “Clean at Sephora” space across North America. Through her inspiring entrepreneurial story, Stegemann shares powerful messages of triumphing over adversity, and empowers her audiences to embrace their inner disruptor.

Stegemann first became known to millions of Canadians when she landed a venture-capital deal on CBC 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 Stegemann 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.

Stegemann 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 Real Leaders magazine ranked her among their “Top 40 Women Keynote Speakers of 2020.” She was also made the first female Honorary Colonel in the history of 14 Wing Greenwood base, Royal Canadian Air Force, completing her term in 2015.

Stegemann is also the author of the bestselling book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, now in its 8th edition, and the subject of the feature-length, award-winning documentary, Perfume War.


Business for Good: Increase your ROI by Leading with your ROL

When you lead with a ROL (Return on Love), the ROI will follow. 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.

Today, The 7 Virtues — a clean perfume brand that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil — is a brand that is not only competing with other luxury perfumes, but that has created a new movement of clean and conscious beauty at Sephora. It is the #1 selling “Clean at Sephora” perfume brand in both the US and Canada, and is now sold in 15 countries.

With compelling storytelling, Stegemann shares her innovative approach to business, and explains how social enterprise can be used as a new business model to excel in today’s marketplace. Her unique selling and training model isn’t just for social entrepreneurs, it can be applied by any business or organization looking to increase their impact (ROL) as well as their ROI.

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

– Barb Stegemann

Turning Dreams into Reality: 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 clean perfume brand that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil to create scents.

Beginning in her garage, armed with only a dream and her personal visa card, Stegemann disrupted the fragrance industry to become a brand that not only competes with luxury perfumes but was also the first and only Canadian brand exclusively sold through Sephora’s new “Clean at Sephora” space in both Canadian and US stores. It is now sold in 15 countries.

Stegemann maps out her inspiring entrepreneurial journey, and how, through resiliency, she was able to triumph over adversity to live her dream. She shares powerful messages on how we all have the strength to follow our own path, surpass challenges we may face, and make a difference through the work that we do, leaving audiences motivated and empowered to believe in themselves.

The Virtues of Resiliency: How to Perform Your Best, Make a Statement, and Grow

Once a single mom trying to launch a start-up from her garage, Barb Stegemann has built an international brand thanks to intuition, innovation, smart risk-taking, and a strong foundation of resiliency. Now she shares her incredible story and hard-earned wisdom, as a CEO who continues to steer The 7 Virtues through both unexpected road bumps and phenomenal growth.

Drawing on her own entrepreneurial story and relevant examples from other industries, Stegemann shares a presentation that’s equally suited to equip leaders and team members with the skills they need to face daily challenges and perform their best. Her message of thoughtful leadership, collaboration, grit and resiliency, as well as clearly defined ambition can help any organization find new heights of success, while maintaining the crucial balance of serving others while taking care of ourselves.

Stoic Principles for Businesses to Thrive During Uncertainty

Winston Churchill said, “Never waste a good crisis.” During a pandemic that has drastically hobbled so much of the economy, Barb Stegemann shares insight into how organizations can capitalize on the stoic principles used by world leaders to thrive and advance to a higher level even during a crisis.

In spite of store closures and supply chain disruptions, Stegemann is leading her organization, The 7 Virtues, to massive sales increases including an expansion into Sephora in 13 countries during a pandemic. Using her own experiences as proof, she shows how this is a moment of untapped business opportunities for anyone ready to capitalize on them.

Philosophy of Leadership: Keeping your Mind, Body, and Spirit Strong in Adversity

For centuries, leaders drew on the wisdom and guidance of great philosophers, like Plato and Marcus Aurelius. In this keynote, social entrepreneur Barb Stegemann guides audiences through the curated insight she gathered for her bestselling book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen. Go from surviving to thriving by learning about the essence of important ideas from throughout history.

Attendees will learn how to let go of old ideas that no longer work for them; how to seek excellence instead of perfection, which can paralyze an organization; and how to ask great questions to debunk myths and get to the truth.

Self-Love is Not an Indulgence, It’s a Necessity

Barb Stegemann wrote her book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen: A Woman’s Guide to Living and Leading in an Illogical World, to help reverse the equation for women. Now more than ever, her message is needed as women were pushed to leave the workforce during the global pandemic to provide care for their loved ones.

As the nucleus of the family, Stegemann says it’s time for women to finally put themselves first before the needs of those around them. This presentation outlines how her primary goal with her company, The 7 Virtues, is to combine products and philosophy together to create self-guided remedies for the body, mind, and soul.

Stegemann will help audiences understand that whether they are feeling stuck, lonely, or overwhelmed, they are not alone — and they have permission to focus on and care for themselves, while living true to their goals and pushing forward to the future they want to see.