The Most Talked About Business Moves of 2012
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Crowdfunding & Microlending Take Root

With banks still playing Mr. Stingypants, capital-hungry small businesses increasingly relied on mass appeals through sites like Quirky, RocketHub, and Kickstarter. Microloan ventures like Kiva, meanwhile, continued to add U.S. cities to their developing-world portfolios. In April, the government--egged on by an entrepreneur-driven campaign--made it safer and easier to go out in the crowdfunding waters with the JOBS Act. That law, among other things, capped investments at non-shirt-losing levels; allowed donors to receive equity; and increased the amount entrepreneurs can raise and how many folks they can raise it from.