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Frieda’s CEO Judges Young Entrepreneur Competition

Karen Caplan
Karen Caplan

Frieda’s Specialty Produce President and CEO Karen Caplan joined a panel of 21 other business leaders last month to judge the Global Youth Business Plan Competition, hosted by the Academy of Business Leadership (ABL) at the University of Southern California.

The Global Youth Business Plan Competition is one of the featured events of the ABL Summer Business & Leadership Institute program. Students work in teams for five weeks to develop full-length business plans under advisement of university professors and their full-time MBA instructors.

Caplan, with the 21 other senior executives from venture capitalist companies, fashion designers, movie producers, universities and banks, listened to business idea presentations by three group finalists.

“Having business leaders judge this competition means a lot to our students,” said Anna Ouroumian, president and CEO of ABL. “I am grateful that industry leaders like Karen take the time to support our program and help guide, motivate and inspire these young entrepreneurs.”

Caplan said, “I am blown away by their business acumen and dedication to their projects. It always amazes me how creative and fearless these students can be with their ideas. Supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs is a priority for Frieda’s as a company. We are committed to advance young, future agriculture business leaders in many ways, such as through the Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship program (through United Fresh Produce Association) and our internship program with EARTH University in Costa Rica.”

This year’s ABL scholars were 11 to 18 years old, from 53 elementary, middle and high schools primarily in Southern California and from countries as far as Turkey and China. Most of these scholars are facing major economic adversity at home, yet they have committed to investing in their own futures to help break their families’ cycle of poverty.

ABL is a nonprofit organization that provides business and leadership education to thousands of high-potential, low-opportunity students throughout Southern California.

In the feature photo at top is Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Frieda’s Specialty Produce.



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