Founded in 2006, the London-based Private Equity Foundation (PEF) very quickly positioned itself as an important venture philanthropy fund in the UK. Its volume of financial investments reflected the success of its backers in a period of economic boom.
In 2007 it decided to start a European expansion of its activities since most of the 70 private equity firms and their advisers that were backing the foundation work not only in the UK but all over Europe. Germany was interesting to PEF because its apprenticeship system and extensive experience in school-work transition programmes provided some unique policy and civil society solutions in its core funding area, supporting so-called NEET students (young people not in education, employment or training). PEF’s investments in Germany have been carried out in partnership with the Berlin-based donor support organization Active Philanthropy.