Crowdfunding is about to start being advertised on TV.
A new show to be broadcast on Sky today called CrowdboxTV will feature a live, Dragons' Den style, pitch for funding from the viewing public by Big Blue Candle, which makes children's clothes.
A major selling point for the firm is that it promises to donate a large proportion of profits to children's charities.
Crowdfunding allows private individuals to back businesses by teaming up with fellow investors and pooling cash. However, it is unregulated and can be high risk. There have been warnings from consumer groups that there are not enough safeguards in place and that the public are not being warned of the risk.
One of the more successful crowdfunding websites, Syndicateroom, told the Independent on Sunday it is surprised at how much individual clients are investing. The minimum investment allowed through the site is £500 but the average to date is £5,000.
Goncalo de Vasconcelos, the founder of Syndicateroom, said crowdfunding wasn't just appealing to "penny stock dabblers but to more sophisticated investors who are keen to include equity in a start up business as part of a balanced portfolio".