The economies of the Caribbean face several challenges, such as a lack of economies of scale in production of goods and services exacerbated by small populations, narrow internal markets and scarce capital, which limit the economic gains from self-sufficiency. For this reason, more emphasis should be placed on building export capacity and facilitating trade. If we examine the characteristics of firms in the subregion, the majority can be categorized as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, only about 13 per cent of these SMEs export. This suggests that on average the subregion is not utilising its potential to generate gains from international trade. Access to finance is a key factor that hinders the subregion’s small businesses from developing their export capacity. Given the importance of business finance, this study explores the factors that limit the subregion’s entrepreneurs from accessing finance and makes policy recommendations to address this challenge.