Kickstarter has been in the business of bringing dreams to market since 2009, but according to a new study from the b corp and the University of Pennsylvania, it has brought a lot more to life than just projects and dreams. Earlier this week, the crowdfunding platform released findings from the Ivy League institution’s research. Among the most impressive results are that Kickstarter has created 8,800 new companies and nonprofits, (kick)started 29,600 full-time jobs, generated more than $5.3 billion in direct economic impact for creators and their communities alike, and employed 283,000 part-time collaborators to bring creative projects to fruition. So yeah, your donations have been doing some real good.
While not all Kickstarter projects have necessarily met with great success (for every Oculus triumph, there’s a Coolest Cooler failure), all things considered, Kickstarter has done a pretty impressive job of boosting the economy in its own way. Everyone from filmmakers to designers to tech gurus have found a way to utilize the platform to their advantage, and many “reported that their project led to professional growth, greater earnings, and career advancement,” Kickstarter says.
“The kinds of outcomes achieved in crowdfunding are extremely diverse, meaning that there are many impacts, from jobs to awards to achieving dreams,” Ethan Mollick, an assistant professor of management at the Wharton School of Business and author of the Kickstarter study, told Mashable.
Indeed, the crowdfunding platform reports that creative agency is the key to many of their creators’ successes. And while Kickstarter failures tend to attract significant media attention, there actually aren’t that many. As per Mollick’s research, only about 9 percent of Kickstarter projects fail, and of the 8,800 organizations that got their start through Kickstarter, 82 percent are still in operation.
“I want to understand how we can democratize innovation and entrepreneurship and that starts by finding out how we can overcome the biases that prevent many people from pursuing their innovations,” Mollick continued, and it looks like Kickstarter just may be the perfect case study.