Longo's foundation makes $5-million donation to Humber College
Money will provide scholarships and seed funding for new businesses
Longo’s president and CEO Anthony Longo at the unveiling of the Longo Faculty of Business and Longo Centre for Entrepreneurship
The Longo Family Foundation has donated $5 million to Humber College in Toronto to help support a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Humber said the gift from the family behind the Longo’s grocery chain would provide scholarships and seed funding for new businesses, while also supporting mentoring and skills development.
The College will also rename the school’s Faculty of Business and Centre for Entrepreneurship as the Longo Faculty of Business and Longo Centre for Entrepreneurship.
“We know that supporting the creation and success of small- to medium-sized businesses plays an important role in helping Canada’s economy thrive,” said Chris Whitaker, president and CEO, of Humber College, in a press release. “We are grateful to the Longo family for their investment in Humber’s polytechnic approach to business education and leadership in helping all of us build back better.”
(L to R) Alvina Cassiani, senior dean, faculty of business at Humber; Anthony Longo, president and CEO of Longo’s; Rosanne Longo, spokesperson and chair of the Longo Family Foundation; and Chris Whitaker, president and CEO, Humber College,
Longo’s has a long history with Humber College, which Longo’s president and CEO Anthony Longo called “the best polytechnic college in the country.” Aside from a being a graduate himself in 1982, Longo later spent six years on the board of Humber College and two of his children attended the college.
There’s also a “values alignment,” around their shared commitment to entrepreneurship and lifelong learning, said Longo in a promotional video announcing the donation. The connection between the Longo’s business and Humber included working with the school on a management training program. “Humber has been a partner of ours for many years,” he said.
The story of Longo’s is the story of successful entrepreneurship. Started by three brothers as a fruit market in 1956, Longo’s has grown and expanded around the Greater Toronto Area, earning a reputation as a popular high-end grocery retailer and delivery business. Empire bought a 51% stake in the 36-store chain last May, valuing the entire enterprise at $700 million.
“Humber has a great opportunity to get students ready for entrepreneurial dreams that they have,” said Longo. “And I really, truly believe that entrepreneurs are the ones that are going to fuel Ontario's economy, Toronto's economy, and Canada's economy long term.”