Despite the plethora of studies on SMEs’ export performance and survival, empirical works on export initiation are relatively limited. Thus far, extant literature has fallen short of determining a comprehensive set of factors affecting firms’ entry to export markets. For these reasons, building on from previous reviews involving export entry, we review 82 papers related to the determinants of SMEs’ export entry published between 2008 and 2019, in order to develop a holistic framework. We provide a comprehensive model that encompasses the key factors associated with this behaviour. We also discuss key issues and propose areas of future research.