12 startups to launch now
In 10 nations on four continents, we've uncovered a dozen of the most intriguing new business opportunities in the world today.
By Michael V. Copeland, Paul Kaihla and Paul Sloan, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- The editors have identified the Best business ideas in the world, which will appear here in a series throughout the next month. Check back daily for updates.

International borders used to be the biggest barrier to entry for Americans interested in starting a business overseas. But today, as more nations ease trade regulations and restrictions on foreign investment, borders are more like invitations.

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Take real estate, for instance: According to research firm Jones Lang LaSalle, Americans spent more than $12 billion on foreign commercial real estate ventures last year, almost double the amount they invested in 2004. Meanwhile, American investment in overseas businesses has nearly doubled, too, since 2002.

So we enlisted a team of top reporters to find out what, and where, the most intriguing new business opportunities are today. They returned with a dozen stories that describe lucrative ventures in unlikely places - from starting a coffee business in Rwanda to discovering the next great cabernet in Greece.

They also found opportunities in Brazil (delivering Wi-Fi to coastal resorts), China (remodeling homes), and Russia (creating a social network for millionaires).

Our goal isn't just to show where the latest business trends are converging, but to coax more of you armchair entrepreneurs out of your Aerons. We've supplied the ideas, the rationales, and even some how-to guidelines from local experts. The rest is up to you.

Click on the list of opportunities below to read more about each of them.

1. Build cheap Wi-Fi networks for Brazilian resorts.

2. Become a biodiesel producer in Argentina.

3. Create an ad network for India's mobile content developers.

4. Launch an exclusive social network for Russian millionaires.

5. Open an American-style restaurant in one of China's fast-growing cities.

6. Remodel homes for China's burgeoning middle class.

7 Flip mining claims in Bolivia.

8. Export the planet's next great wines - from Greece.

9. Import fine wines to upscale restaurants - in India.

10. Export gourmet coffee from Rwanda.

11. Become a social entrepreneur in South Africa.

12. Be among the first to invest in the new Libya.

Additional Reporting By Saheli S.R. Datta, Emily Huo and Hillary Woolley contributed to this article. Top of page

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.