What is a Free Enterprise Hero?

A free enterprise hero is a person who has created a successful business through a creative use of his or her talents and resources, and whose life is marked by good character and virtue. A free enterprise hero is also an innovator, leader and well respected member of his or her community, business and civic organizations. Most importantly, a free enterprise hero will use his or her success to give back to people and philanthropic organizations.


All free enterprise heroes will possess and exhibit many of these virtues in his or her lifetime:

• Perseverance – the ability to continue on with an endeavor despite opposition
• Honesty – a refusal to lie, cheat, steal, or deceive in any way
• Generosity – a willingness to give of your time, talents or resources to others
• Vision – the power to imagine and anticipate what could be
• Passion – an intense lively or eager commitment to a cause
• Courage – a mental and moral strength to face difficulty
• Insight – the ability to understand a situation or problem
• Adaptability – the power to adjust according to changing circumstances
• Altruism – an unselfish concern for the well-being of others


There are many free enterprise heroes, both past and present. They run businesses, serve on boards, have families and give back to their communities by donating both money and time to different causes. You may even know a free enterprise hero in your town. Some have been recognized for their achievements, and others have yet to be noticed. But whether or not these heroes receive public recognition, their entrepreneurial spirit truly is a testament to everything America has to offer.

Learn more about the special set of free enterprise heroes who have been inducted into the Charles A. Cannon Free Enterprise Hall of fame.