Ms Botin told the annual convention of business lobby group the Institute of Directors: "Profit, wealth creation, competition: these are not dirty words, but the lifeblood of a dynamic economy.
"Low taxes, balanced regulation: these are not heretical thoughts, but the essence of a competitive economy."
Ms Botin, the daughter of Santander group's executive chairman Emilio Botin whom she is expected to eventually succeed, said these elements "generate the revenue to pay for public services we all want".
She added: "We need to stop frowning upon failure while criticising those that succeed for creating sinister big businesses."
Santander UK's chief since 2010, she criticised the outlook of many Britons.
"When I go around the country, I get the sense that the British do not like to look at things on the bright side of life. Maybe it has to do with the weather," she said.
Ms Botin, who last year received a near £4 million pay and bonus package, claimed there is a "new wave of criticism" of the culture of enterprise.
She said: "The mistakes of a few gave ammunition to its critics. They used the financial crisis to question - not just the morals and benefits of the enterprise economy - but the motives and morals of those who create wealth."
She hinted at the scandals that have engulfed the banking sector in recent years and said to support business "is not to defend the mistakes of some".
But she warned against excessive regulation.
"If we let the pendulum swing too far, we could end up stopping banks from doing one of their jobs, which is fuelling sustainable growth," she said.