Enterprise Island and Nansen Island were first charted as one feature and named "Île Nansen" by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition under Adrien de Gerlache in 1898. The islands became well known to whalers operating in the area in the early 1900s and the names North Nansen Island and South Nansen Island were used to distinguish them. Since Nansen Island has now become established for the larger feature, the new name Enterprise Island has been given to the smaller island by the United Kingdom Antarctic Place-names Committee, commemorating the enterprise of the whalers who made the anchorage at the south side of the island at Foyn Harbor, a major center of summer industry during the period 1916-1930. Foyn Harbor was first surveyed by T. W. Bagshawe and M. C. Lester in 1921-22. It was named by whalers after the whaling factory ship Svend Foyn, which was moored here during 1921-22.