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. She launched on International Women’s Day, 2010. Fast forward and THE 7 VIRTUES 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” fragrance space across Canada and the USA. Through her inspiring entrepreneurial story, Barb shares powerful messages of triumphing over adversity, and empowers women and men 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 well 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, 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, and the subject of the feature-length, award-winning documentary Perfume War.