Barbara 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 created The 7 Virtues, a company that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil (such as Afghanistan, Haiti, the Middle East and Rwanda).
Stegemann became known to millions of Canadians when she became the first woman from Atlantic Canada to land a venture-capital deal on the CBC TV show Dragons’ Den (The Canadian version of Shark Tank) —for The 7 Virtues Beauty. 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 has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada; won the APEC Women and the Economy Summit Award from the US Department of State; won the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Emerging Entrepreneur category”; 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.
Stegemann is the author of the bestselling book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, a book which has empowered women (and men) to launch companies, run for public office, and end bullying. Her compelling story of overcoming adversity through the power of stoic wisdom is the subject of the feature-length documentary Perfume War. The film tells Stegemann’s entrepreneurial story and has garnered many awards, including Best Humanitarian Film, Sedona Film Festival, Arizona; and the Vanguard award for cutting-edge ideas at the Artemis Film Festival, Santa Monica, California.