While research suggests financial capabilities and social influences are vital toward understanding the development of individuals’ entrepreneurial intentions (EI), their nature remains less than fully understood. Despite potential for important theoretical and practical implications, the systematic study of how these personal and social capital factors influence the formation of EI in varied economic and social contexts remain limited. In this paper we develop a contextually-based theoretical model of EI which can be used to best direct and allocate resources dedicated to encouraging and providing effective incentives and support for potential entrepreneurs. Our central argument is that the development of EI may not be universal, and that important contextual differences in the role of personal financial capital and in the influence of evolving social norms help provide more nuanced and robust theoretical insights into the development of EI.