Here's How Kickstarter Is Helping the Economy

By Features PCmag

While many Kickstarter success stories have trouble making their products a reality, the crowdfunding site has had a big impact on the economy, according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Kickstarter has helped create 8,800 new companies or non-profits, generated $5.3 billion in economic impact, and helped with the employment of more than 300,000 part-time and full-time employees, researchers found. The data comes from an analysis of nearly 62,000 projects launched before June 2015, and also includes extrapolations from the last 12 months of projects based on earlier performance.

Of course, Kickstarter itself didn't create those jobs or generate that economic activity. However, the crowdfunding site provides a platform for entrepreneurs and others to float their ideas and grow their businesses. That said, not all Kickstarter projects are successful. Some projects don't reach their crowdfunding goal and others that do sometimes hit snags that ultimately derail their companies. Achieving success, in other words, is not easy.

The study also found that Kickstarter can provide a career boost; 37 percent of respondents said a Kickstarter project helped them advance their careers, and one in five said their annual earnings were boosted after the successful Kickstarter.

On the backer side, the findings were similarly positive and innovation reigned supreme.

"Backers reported more than 50 percent of Kickstarter projects to be innovative," the company said in a statement. "An estimated 4,200 patents tied to projects have been filed. More than 10 percent of creators reported winning major awards for their work, including a MacArthur Genius grant, National Design Awards from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, a James Dyson Award, IDSA's International Design Excellence Award, CES Innovation Awards, the Sikorsky Prize, Independent Games Festival Awards, Grammys, an Oscar, and many more."

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Kickstarter says it furnished data for the study but did not have any "influence" over its findings.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.