Barriers to Enterprise Development in the Caribbean

Stephen Drinkwater, Jonathan Lashley, Catherine Robinson

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Caribbean economies have suffered from stagnant growth since the 1990s. This can be a feature of small developing economies and is a major concern for policy-makers. In this paper, we examine establishment-level data to gain a better understanding of the factors that constrain the growth of businesses in the region. In addition to documenting broad differences in obstacles to business within and across the region, we particularly focus on the main obstacles affecting small and medium-sized firms. The econometric analysis highlights three main barriers at a regional level: an inadequately educated workforce; access to finance; and crime, theft and disorder. However, there are variations at the country level and the analysis indicates clusters of countries that experience obstacles to similar degrees. The paper concludes with recommendations for alleviating the constraints to enterprise development and in stimulating economic growth. © 2018, Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author produced version of a paper published in ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-963
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018


  • enterprise development; SMEs; Caribbean; business environment; barriers to growth; ordered probit regressions.

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