Financial development has been found to be an important determinant of economic growth. Recent research has shown that firms in industries that are dependent on outside financing grow relatively more quickly in countries with well-developed financial markets, while other work has shown that in well-developed financial markets, resources are more likely to flow to firms with high-return projects. This raises the question of whether firms with high-return projects in countries with poorly developed financial institutions are able to take actions to mitigate the effects of deficient (formal) financial intermediaries. In this paper, we examine whether firms in such markets utilize trade credit as an alternative means of financing growth by effectively borrowing from their suppliers. To examine this hypothesis, we begin by calculating the trade-credit intensity of manufacturing industries, using U.S. data, and claim that this reflects an industry's underlying "affinity" for trade credit access. Reasons for this affinity include easy resale of inventories and reliance on physical inputs, among other factors. We then examine whether "trade-credit intensive" industries grow relatively quickly in countries with less-developed financial markets (relative to countries with more-developed financial markets). Our results are supportive of this hypothesis. By examining the growth rates of existing firms and the formation of new firms, we are further able to examine whether trade credit serves primarily to finance start-ups or to finance growth within existing firms. We find evidence that suggests that trade-credit financing is used primarily as a form of substitute finance by older firms that have had the opportunity to establish reputations with suppliers; newer firms may therefore not have this means of financing available to them.