E1-S4 "Who says engineers cant change the world?” with Radwa Rostom’s Career

Summary & Key Takeways

A women engineer from the global south revolutionizing housing and poverty crisis in her native Egypt. Radwa Rostom, is also an Ashoka Fellow, a Climate Fellow from Echoingreen; nominated most influential Arab women under 40 among other distinctions. Episode 1 of Season 4 will tell the story of Radwa’s creation of her award-winning social enterprise Hand Over that utilizes sustainable construction for the sake of community development. 

Episode 1 of Season 4 is brought to you by The Rotary Peace Fellowship and the Graduate Program in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence at the Heller School for Social Policy at Brandeis University.

In this episode we discuss: 

  • Radwa’s earlier years she grew up in Qatar but she is a native Egyptian
  • How her family was a very progressive and Radwa was the “nerd” who was expected to do something related to math and science
  • How Radwa and her sisters decided to return to her native Egypt to do a degree in engineer
  • During her college she started volunteering and her sense for (social) responsibility started to grow
  • Why she wanted to challenge the way charity is done
  • With her engineering background she wondered how to make a unique contribution
  • Upon graduation, Radwa was exploring how to merge her passion for helping with her professional skills
  • How Radwa was an engineer for 2 years but felt something was missing
  • How Radwa’s environmental passion started growing and how she changed jobs
  • She moved to a corporate social responsibility firm but was missing her engineering skills
  • How Radwa realized her “ideal” job didn’t exist so she created her own organization
  • Radwa’s process of creating her own business and her aha! moment
  • How she started a business without knowing HOW to create a business
  • The pressures of “owning” your own enterprise
  • On starting your own business while combining it with personal life
  • The “money” trade-off when starting your own enterprise
  • An overview of Radwa’s enterprise “Hand-over”
  • The three pillars of Hand-over and how it executes its projects
  • Hand-Over business model via the for-profit tracks and the community development track is the non-profit track
  • Radwa’s most useful skills that informs her everyday work
  • On the importance of management and strategic planning
  • Her area of growth is delegating to focus on strategic planning
  • Radwa’s take on Fellowships (Do School Fellowship, Ashoka, Echoingreen- among others)
  • Who would Radwa hire and what key skills she is looking for in people?


Ain Shins University


A Forbes article about Radwa



Do School Fellow

Related topics

Become a member of the PCDN Career Campus to get daily access (to job opportunities) community (network with other impact professionals); learning with sector-experts and receive guidance from PCDN Career Coaches.  

Our Podcast
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram