A system by which individuals are allowed to set up in business without interference from governments, whether local or national. Free enterprise is commonly regarded as a good thing and it often is where there is strong competition . It can lead to there being lively and innovative producers who strive to meet real consumer needs and wants. If on the other hand producers acquire market power through monopolies or cartels , they may be able to charge unnecessarily high prices. Or they may sell poor-quality goods against which the consumer has little protection. Regulation may be needed to protect consumers.