Free enterprise refers to an economic system that allows people to create and conduct business in order to make a profit from it and without too much meddling from the government in terms of business practice rules and regulations. The main feature of a free enterprise economy is that businesses are allowed to compete with each other with minimal intervention from the government. In simple terms, businesses can operate the way they want to and can compete with other businesses to make a profit for their goods and services as long as no other trade rules are violated.
In the past, many business activities were considered restricted by various government standards and regulations. People had to secure permits from their respective governments just to open a retail store for example. Back in these times, many governments around the world focused on activities that they deemed was necessary at the time in order to protect the resources of their land. And so various rules were put in place and people were literally not allowed or discouraged to create their own business and deal with other people freely. Most trading activities during these times were conducted by the government and people just had to follow the rules. Over time though, more and more people clamored for more freedom in terms of trading and business activities. The longing for free trade and freedom from strict regulations eventually led many governments to allow business activities by the common person in their territories.
With free trade agreements between different countries, many people are now able to conduct business-related activities without being punished by their governments. Along with other social freedoms and democracies, free enterprise has also become popular because it allowed people to manage their own earnings and turn them into businesses. With more freedom in terms of dealing or competing with other traders and businessmen, economies around the world also became more diverse and active. With free enterprise, more people are given the option to improve their lives through entrepreneurship and trade agreements with other people.