Business Horizons Opens Doors for Iowa High School Students

March 9, 2018 | Iowa's infrastructure: State provides many transportation options for businesses Jessi Steward, Marketing and Programs Coordinator, ABI Foundation,

“Business Horizons may be the single greatest learning experience of my life so far.” – Austin G., Clarinda, IA (BH 2017)

Business Horizons, the ABI Foundation’s weeklong summer program for Iowa high school students (grades 9-12), is currently accepting applications for the 2018 program. This year, it’ll be held July 15-19 on the campus of Central College in Pella.

Business Horizons has had a profound impact on the lives of more than 5,000 students who’ve participated throughout the program’s 34-year history. From gaining self-confidence and leadership skills to meeting mentors and lifelong friends, students benefit from this experience in countless ways.

“Business Horizons is unlike any other camp I have attended. It had meaningful activities that I will take with me when I make college decisions. I learned that I do have opportunities here in Iowa, and my future can be just as successful in Iowa as out of state.” – Marissa B., Cedar Rapids, IA (BH 2017)

During the week, participants are placed into teams with other students from across the state and are tasked with creating a product and launching a mock business. Students work together to create an infomercial, develop trade show materials and pitch their ideas to investors. Participants also hear from inspiring speakers, take part in team-building activities, visit local businesses and much more.

“I am so glad I attended Business Horizons. I made lasting friendships, grew as a leader and was able to gain a greater understanding of how business works. This experience inspired me to take risks and find my passion. It made me realize that the future is not so far off. The future is now.” – Ashley L., West Des Moines, IA (BH 2017)

Business Horizons is not only for students who are interested in business and entrepreneurship. The skills developed during the week are beneficial in all industries. The program curriculum and volunteers work to present students with all of the great aspects of living and working in Iowa, and to foster growth of the 21st-century skills that will allow students to not only survive, but to thrive in today’s workplace.

“I would 110% recommend this program to any high school student. I gained an immense amount of useful information and a new sense of confidence. I feel empowered and ready to take on the world.” – Olivia M., Afton, IA (BH 2017)

Don’t let students in your community miss out on gaining this valuable experience. Each year there are students who would benefit tremendously from participating, but miss their chance to attend simply because they weren’t informed or encouraged to sign up.

Please help spread the word about Business Horizons! A few ways to do so are:

  • Nominate individual students to participate at
  • Inform educators in your community about the program.
  • Include a note in your company newsletter for employees.

Applications and more can be found at Students who apply before May 15 will receive a discount on registration. Participants can also earn college credit and a Central College scholarship.

Contact us at or 515-235-0570 with questions or to learn how you and your company can help shape the lives of our future Iowa leaders.