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Supplying Growth: Purchasing Challenges and Opportunities for Cuban Entrepreneurs, Cuba Study Group


There are three key findings from this research: 1. There is a price advantage in Cuba (i.e. purchasing products in state-run “dollar stores” or on Revolico) for many necessary business inputs, when accounting for applicable tariffs and transportation costs, yet Cuban entrepreneurs continue to source a large number of supplies from the U.S. This suggests that Cuban entrepreneurs may purchase some goods in the U.S. for reasons other than price, such as product availability, variety, and quality. 2. Not all individual products are cheaper in dollar stores or on Revolico, however; appliances and high-tech goods are often less expensive in the U.S., even when accounting for high tariffs, and entrepreneurs may be able to reduce the high costs of technology-intensive ventures by purchasing the right goods in the right markets. 3. Combining the pricing data in this report with existing research on estimated monthly revenue for Cuban entrepreneurs in different sectors indicates that some entrepreneurial activities may have significantly shorter payback periods than others, suggesting potential opportunities to help aspiring Cuban entrepreneurs identify promising business opportunities.




Russell Walker

Date Published



Walker, Russell. 2015. Supplying Growth: Purchasing Challenges and Opportunities for Cuban Entrepreneurs. Cuba Study Group.


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