Academic business start-ups have great importance for economic development. However, only a small number of such new firms are founded by women. In light of this phenomenon, it is a great relevance whether entrepreneurial intentions of university students differ between genders and which contingency factors are suitable to explain these differences. To shed a light thereon, we analysed data of 1,038 German students. Results indicate that males have higher entrepreneurial intentions than females. From the potential contingency factors applied in our research, the entrepreneurial social environment showed the strongest influence on female students. The career choice motivations of male students on the other hand are characterised by the pursuit of influence, power, social recognition and status whereas the objective to achieve work-life-balance can have impedimental effects on their path towards entrepreneurship. Furthermore, both males and females seek autonomy and independence. Our endeavour is to provide arguments for educators and policy-makers to take these and other gender-specific particularities into account.