The St. John’s Board of Trade announced author and social enterprise innovator Barbara Stegemann as the keynote luncheon speaker for its business development summit next month.
Stegemann is the founder and CEO of the 7 Virtues Beauty Inc, a company that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Rwanda, and the Middle East. She’s also the best-selling author of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen and the subject of the documentary Perfume War, which tells her entrepreneurial story.
The native of rural Nova Scotia rose to Canadian fame when she became the first woman from Atlantic Canada to land a venture-capital deal after appearing on the CBC television reality show Dragon’s Den. Her social enterprise later earned her the show’s top game-changer honours.
In the years since, Stegemann has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada; 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 the Royal Canadian Air Force's 14 Wing Greenwood base in Halifax.
This year’s summit, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Entrepreneurship Pavilion and themed “Thriving on the edge — A New World for Business”, is set for Feb. 8 at the St. John’s.
Following a breakfast keynote from St. John’s mayor Danny Breen, the conference begins with an economic outlook session featuring Memorial University professor of economy Dr. Wade Locke and Tim Powers, vice chairman of Summa Strategies.
That’s followed by an entrepreneurial ecosystem session with Hey Orca’s Joe Teo, Ocean Choice International’s (OCI) Iris Petten, and Martek CEO Charlie Oliver.
Following Stegemann’s keynote, the afternoon starts with a session on business development that includes OCI’s Martin Sullivan, Mark Gillingham from SkyHawk Telematics and Kendra MacDonald of Deloitte.
The day ends with a session titled “Revitalize, Capitalize, Succeed: Seize the Opportunity.” Speakers include John Norman of Bonavist Living, Sonja Mills and Alicia MacDonald of Port Rexton Brewing and Craig Ryan, BDC’s director of social entrepreneurship.
The event also features a trade show with over 60 exhibitors from the local business community.