Entrepreneur Simon Cohen, who worked with Dalai Lama, to give business away for free

Cohen said the move wasn't philanthropy, but made for a sustainable business model

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The Independent Online

An entrepreneur, who has worked with the Dalai Lama, has made the unbusinesslike decision to give away his company, in order to preserve the firm’s values.

Simon Cohen has spent two months auditioning over 200 candidates from 30 countries in the hope he will find the perfect new boss for his £1million company Global Tolerance.

His move will allow him to stay at home to raise he and his wife Kate’s children, while the couple decide if she will go back to work as a travel editor.

Following a five-stage interview process, Cohen chose Noa Gafni, a digital strategist, and Rosie Warin, a PR director, to become managing directors of the firm. They will receive 95 per cent of the company’s shares, £10,000 cash and all the company’s assets, The Telegraph reported.

The 11-year-old company specialises in communications and marketing for social activism.

In 2007, Global Tolerance was hired to manage PR for an event involving the Dalai Lama and other world religious leaders at the Golden Temple in Punjab, while his work with the UN agency saw the firm research innovative uses for ICT to promote peace, tolerance and understanding.

He told The Telegraph that while his move seemed like an act of philanthropy, it was in fact a model for a sustainable business. He added that giving away his business was "enlightened self-interest" which "only brought [him] more happiness”.

He explained that he did not want to risk a merger seeing his organisation's values get lost, or diminished.

"There didn’t seem to be a way of leaving the company that would keep its values," he said.

The couple, who live in Cornwall, have a 15-month-old daughter called Seren, while Kate has another child due in November.

He told the newspaper that when his wife became pregnant, he decided “there was nothing worth more in the world than to be present for my wife and children.”

But Cohen will keep five per cent of the company’s shares, and will work once a week as a communications consultant to pay the bills.