I’ve come across a couple interesting items recently about funding for small businesses or entrepreneurial projects. Ironically (but not surprisingly), both come from Bloomberg Businessweek.

The first relates to a resource that I’ve written about several times previously: Kickstarter.com, which helps people fund creative projects and off-beat business concepts. Users post their “pitch” online, set a funding goal, and ask for contributions. In less than two years, more than $1.5 million has been pledged to more than 5,000 projects. This BW feature profiles eight projects that have been “kick-started,” including some shocking funding totals like more than $200,000 to build an open-source alternative to Facebook. Click here for that full story.

Second is an article by Chris Burritt about Wal-Mart-owned Sam’s Club piloting an online loan program for small businesses that are Sam’s Club members. Wal-Mart appears to be responding to a statistic stating that only half of businesses that applied for a loan got all or most of what they needed. Click here for that full story.

I see both of these stories as encouraging news for creative entrepreneurs who are looking for seed money to launch a new idea. In a time when traditional forms of funding have dried up, this trend of funding coming from new and unexpected sources is something to be aware of.