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Buoyed by the steady and sturdy growth witnessed by Kuwait’s homegrown startup ecosystem, the Kuwait Stock Exchange is planning on launching its own venture capital market aimed at drawing and supporting the country’s promising startups and entrepreneurs. What’s even more exciting is that it is the first-of-its-kind ambitious plan undertaken by an exchange in the entire region.

Khaled AlKhaled, Chief Executive of Boursa Kuwait, shed light into the project in his recent conversation with the media. He hinted that the ultimate goal behind this move is to help emerging businesses achieve a sustainable growth long enough so they can eventually be listed on the primary market. “We are working closely with Kuwaiti young entrepreneurs to introduce a venture capital market,” he said, adding: “I want these entrepreneurs to grow locally. If they grow enough, they will be listed in the Kuwaiti market.”

Although the Boursa are yet to reveal the detailed plan, it looks like the idea of launching a venture capital market has been brewing at top-management levels for a while now. One of the oldest in the region, Boursa Kuwait has been undergoing a slew of reforms over the past few years to make Kuwait a preferred destination for global investors.

In addition to the venture capital marketplace, the Boursa is also developing a range of new products including covered short-selling, real estate investment trusts, and stock borrowing, all of which are expected to go live at some point in 2019.