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 on her visa card 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 the Middle East and Rwanda and beyond).
A decade later, The 7 Virtues is now an award-winning social enterprise — and the only Canadian brand to be sold through Sephora’s "Clean at Sephora" fragrance space in 18 countries globally.
A newsmaker, Barb first became known to millions of Canadians when she landed a venture-capital deal on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den (shark tank in the USA) — 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 when viewers voted for her social enterprise.
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, completing her term in 2015.
Barb is also the author of the bestselling book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, now in its 8th edition.