Despite many business sectors facing problems related to the economic crisis, entrepreneurs are finding alternative sources of funding.

Through its online crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter – a World Economic Forum 2012 Tech Pioneer – has helped a quarter of a million people raise money for thousands of imaginative projects.

One of the projects that received funding through Kickstarter hit the headlines a few weeks ago in The New York Times and elsewhere – Eric Migicovsky’s Pebble wristwatch, a  Bluetooth 4.0-enabled wristwatch that integrates with iPhone and Android smartphones to show app updates and other data on its screen. By turning to Kickstarter, Migicovsky was able to raise US$ 100,000 within only a few hours. The next day he was up to US$ 1 million, and in less than 30 days had raised almost US$ 10 million.

Since its launch in 2009, Kickstarter has grown into a worldwide platform, helping people raise money for a wide range of projects – from art and design to the latest, innovative technologies. These projects are popping up everywhere: film festivals feature Kickstarter-funded films, new restaurants are opened thanks to funding through the website, art fairs showcase pieces of art work that once looked for financial support, the list goes on.

The globalization of the platform and the number of successful projects show that you do not have to be a proven business person to kick-start your own project. Today, anyone with an Internet connection and a creative mind can become a successful entrepreneur.