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UMS was established in 2006 and provides drainage and wastewater solutions across Scotland.

Lauren Grant stands by UMS Ltd van

Entrepreneurship support helps Moray business overcome challenges

Based near Elgin, the company undertakes all aspects of drainage, CCTV surveys and preventative maintenance for the domestic, commercial and industrial markets. They are renowned for their high-quality, reliable and efficient 24-hour service, and particularly their ability to solve problematic situations for clients.

In 2017 Lauren Grant became Managing Director and took over the family business from her father. While UMS was an established brand with a strong customer base, Lauren had limited experience of running a company having previously worked in the oil and gas industry. The firm was founded by her father 11 years earlier after he spotted a gap in the market and steadily grew the UMS name and reputation across the Highlands.

Lauren said: “I am a civil engineer, which is a very different discipline from running a business. It is fair to say I’ve had a number of different challenges to overcome since 2017. Managing people, managing the day to day business, and looking to the future, there’s a lot of plates to keep spinning. For anyone who has never had to deal with multi-faceted aspects of business it’s a considerable task to take on.”

Lauren’s experience in oil and gas has given her the benefit of being able to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas into UMS.

Lauren said: “Every business needs to adapt and change in order to flourish, but of course implementation is not always straight forward. The key is for everyone to pull in the same direction and visualise the potential of the company. We’ve invested not just in equipment, cameras and vans, but also in training courses for the staff to upskill.”

One of the other benefits of being involved in the Entrepreneurship programme is the networking aspect of the events. It was reassuring to hear of other business leaders tackling the same challenges as I was.
Lauren Grant, Managing Director, USM Ltd

Support from HIE

Lauren “never thought in a million years” she would run a business after graduating with a degree in civil engineering. Despite taking over the family reins at UMS, Lauren has had to forge her own path in the business.

In order to boost her chances of success, she makes the most of what HIE have to offer and attends as many courses as she can.

Lauren said: “I can’t praise the support that I’ve had from HIE’s Entrepreneurship programme enough. I’ve been able to upskill and learn, and it has all been easily accessible.

“There is so much help for people who are running businesses, and it has been a great comfort to know that it’s there, and a resource that I’ve revisited time and time again.

“I particularly enjoyed the two day Brand Development course. It gave me a real insight into understanding what a brand is and how to develop it.

“Learning how to generate sales for your business via the Entrepreneurial Sales workshop was also very helpful.

“And for someone with limited business experience the Finance Workshop was extremely beneficial, as it covered the basics of finance for small businesses.

“One of the other benefits of being involved in the Entrepreneurship programme is the networking aspect of the events. It was reassuring to hear of other business leaders tackling the same challenges as I was.”

“It can be lonely running a business, but to attend a course, to learn something new, and to share experiences with others is hugely reinvigorating. The Entrepreneurship team are very good at creating events that will give you the motivation and support to drive your business to the next level.”

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Lauren Grant of UMS Ltd in industrial setting


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