According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, the 55-to-64 demographic had the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in 2005. So why are we invisible?

Since the movie Calendar Girls, the concept of showing real, mature women in the buff isn't considered revolutionary. The Dove pro-age campaign is testimony to that. What would be revolutionary now is showing real, mature women starting and running businesses. Wouldn't it be terrific if Office Depot, Microsoft or IBM ads featured older women in their offices, making calls, consulting, on job sites and speaking at industry conferences?

Nearly 45 years after The Feminine Mystique was published, women of a certain age still need to be vigilant to receive the recognition we deserve. Here are four steps to being a very visible, over-55 entrepreneur.

Join in. Become active in your area by joining a business organization that appeals to you and roll up your sleeves. By this time in our lives, we know how to make a difference in an organization. Is there a NAWBO or ABWA chapter in your area? Becoming active in your local chamber of commerce will give you networking opportunities. If these organizations don't feel quite right, start your own. Identify women in your community you'd like to discuss business issues with. They're probably wishing for the same thing.

Speak out. Look for opportunities to share your passion for your business. You hear a lot about having a 30-second elevator pitch, but a 15- to 30-minute talk is also important for raising your visibility. Offer to speak at your local Rotary, industry group or professional association. Just as you're interested in how others have become successful, others are interested in how you're approaching your business.

Support. Be a visible supporter of a charity or cause dear to your heart. Think of creative ways to spotlight your involvement. If there's a direct tie-in to your business, even better. If you have a cookie business, bake "energy cookies" for a 5K run/walk. Consider including a sample of your product in a charity party goody bag. Or feature an organization in your newsletter or on your website.

Stand out. Does your picture appear with your bio on your website? Do you present yourself as the business owner? It's important for you to look the part. We believe what we see. If you look like a successful business owner, you'll increase your chances of being a successful entrepreneur. This doesn't require expensive clothes or jewelry, but it does require attention to your image. When you put your product or service into the marketplace, you have given a great deal of thought to how it looks. Give the same thought to your greatest marketing piece: you.

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie Price, founder of Silver Vixen Enterprises, is a lifelong entrepreneur. She owns SilverVixens, an online membership community to connect and inform Women of a Certain Age. She also writes the After 55 blog.