Enrique Bolaños Geyers was born on 13 May 1928 in Massaya, Nicaragua. He was educated at the Central American School of Granada. He then attended the University of St. Louis, in the United States, where he earned a master's degree in industrial engineering. Returning to Nicaragua, he attended the Central American Institute of Business Administration. In 1952, he entered private industry where he became a successful businessman, working primarily in the cotton industry. He has held many prominent positions within industry and trade groups over his long career. From 1979–1983 Bolaños served as director of the Union of Farm Producers; from 1981–86, he served as director of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce; from 1983–88, he was president of the Greater Council of Private Industry; he joined the National Board of the Central American Institute of Business Administration in 1983, a position he continued to hold as of 2002. In 1985, he became president of the Private Entity Federation of Central America.
Bolaños was married in 1949 to Lila Abaunza. The couple has five children, one of whom died at age 16.