What would make you give away a £1m business?

I’m perfectly willing to give Simon the benefit of the doubt. Priorities change with age and it’s completely believable that he is ready to let go of an old business to focus on his family, but others are raising questions over the legitimacy of the decision.

Global Tolerance, the PR firm that represented the Dalai Lama and the Prince of Wales, went on a year long sabbatical last April as Simon’s first daughter was born. Seven full time employees left through mutual consent and have not been rehired, even as the company gets ready for its unique sale. 

Simon will hand over 95% of Global Tolerance, for free, to a new entrepreneur with an authentic social vision.

I think about value in a slightly different way." Simon Cohen, founder of Global Tolerance

The entrepreneur turned family man said, “Most exit strategies seem to centre around how the leader can extract as much money as possible. Lots of businesses end up in a corporate graveyard because of this. But I think about value in a slightly different way.”

Is Simon Cohen an entrepreneur who’s lost interest in making money and wants to put full focus on his family? I hope so. But there is that book he’s writing, a book currently without a publisher.

No doubt all this coverage, including a blog on the BBC would have brought him to the attention of a few publishers.

But why look on this situation with cynicism? Instead, let’s focus on the fact that someone out there is about to be given the chance to take the reigns of a business that once boasted some of the highest profile clients in the world. What a great opportunity!

On the hunt for Global Tolerance’s new head honcho, Simon added, “I will be looking for someone with strong financial and business acumen, as this is an area where I have fallen short.”

Could you be the next C.E.O of Global Tolerance? Would you take the helm of a business that had been dormant for a year, or would you rather have a clean slate with your own business? Do you think this is all a big publicity stunt?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet us @smartahq!

For more on great exit strategies, check out three well timed examples from Bebo, Dreams and Foxtons here.


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