How to regulate crowdfunding?
2 January 2014 Last updated at 08:08 GMT
In the wake of the financial crisis entrepreneurs have been looking to the general public for cash to get their start-up businesses going.
Using crowdfunding websites like Crowd-cube, Seedrs and Angel-list, aspiring entrepreneurs can find amateur investors and well-wishers across the world.
Although the past year saw crowdfunding come of age, in 2014 regulators in Europe and the US are set to bring in rules for this new era of internet investing.
Caroline Hepker reports.