The Defence Academy Entrepreneurs’ Prize 2019 and 2020

The Company of Entrepreneurs has been associated with the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom since 2016 as both organisations recognise that resourcefulness, flexibility, decisiveness, and innovation are key traits for success. Since 2019, the Company of Entrepreneurs has supported an annual prize celebrating the Defence Academy member who has demonstrated these attributes most clearly.

On 8th September, 2021, the Master Entrepreneur, Mr Lars Andersen, was able to finally meet the 2019 and 2020 recipients in person to formally hear their citations and to present them with their commemorative certificates. The Master was pleased to welcome the Chief Executive and Commandant of the Defence Academy, Major General Andrew Roe, to present prizes to:

Major Jon Healy (2019) – the inaugural prize-winner Major Jon Healy identified growth potential for the Defence Academy in an existing portfolio of education modules on the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land).  He developed a comprehensive proposal for a stand-alone Executive Leadership and Management module showing significant income potential at no extra cost to the Academy. 

He produced a unique marketable product. As a consequence of Major Healy’s initiative, ability to spot an opportunity, tenacity, and willingness to take risk, this course has been added to the suite of the Academy’s commercial opportunities.

Mr Paul Bleackley (2020) – having spent several years leading the Learning and Development programme for Defence Business Services, Paul returned to Defence Cyber School (DCS). He started in his role to lead the DCS Instructors and took responsibility for the delivery of the cyber curriculum against challenging Training Requirement Authority target outputs. Shortly after re-joining the team, COVID-19 restrictions came into force and the team dispersed to work from home.

From March 2020, Paul worked tirelessly to forge strong relationships with the entire DCS team, quickly implementing a daily video call to brief important issues, build comradery and check the wellbeing of staff; inviting all contractors working with us to join the calls to keep abreast of developments and work requirements that impacted them. He was instrumental in the success of the department; his vision, rigour and drive has seen the DCS flagship course programme – the Cyber Foundation Pathway – move from pilot to business-as-usual.

Paul’s collaborative leadership style helps him develop strong relationships quickly within, and beyond, the team. His ability to rapidly analyse problems and develop solutions at pace to meet unexpected situations has been a real credit to the DCS during the difficult and often fast-changing situation of 2020.

The Master said “The Entrepreneurs’ Company supports and encourages innovation and enterprise in every field, and the Entrepreneurs’ Prize recognises students at the Defence Academy that show particular entrepreneurial flare. It is my privilege to present these prizes, and to recognise Jon and Paul’s achievements.”


Faculty heads across the Defence Academy nominate students who demonstrate these key entrepreneurial traits, and a prize-winner is selected by the Company’s Awards Committee from a shortlist. The Entrepreneurs’ Prize recognises the vital balance of risk and reward in defence as in enterprise.

Nominations for the 2021 Entrepreneurs’ Prize are open, and a winner will be announced later this year.

More information about the Defence Academy can be found at

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