Community forestry and related small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) can contribute towards the achievement of REDD+ goals, since they can promote sustainable use and conservation of forests and, therefore, a reduction in forest-related carbon emissions. Additionally, they can improve the quality of life of forest-dependant people by generating alternative sources of income and employment. However, SMFEs often face a number of challenges, including non-conducive policy environments, inadequate business skills, and moreover, limited access to financial services. In this paper, we propose to direct a portion of REDD+ readiness efforts towards promoting the generation of an enabling environment for SMFEs that includes: the construction of an adequate Business Environment (BE), the provision of Business Development Services (BDS) and better access to Financial Services (FS). With the application of this framework, SMFEs will be more likely to proliferate and succeed, leading to enhanced community resilience and empowerment, in addition to increasing the likelihood of forest carbon stock permanence and the long term achievement of REDD+ goals. Opportunities and challenges of applying this approach in Latin America are discussed.